Vivaldi is greatly over-rated - a dull fellow who would compose the same form over many times. Such is the opinion of one of the great composers on the music of another great composer. Given the evidence of the present newly re-released complete Vivaldi cello concertos incredulity can be the only response to this assessment. But then Stravinsky was a man who voiced strong, often acerbic and sometimes outrageous opinions on virtually anything suggested to him. He had probably heard few, if any, of these cello concertos and irrespective would it have made any difference?
Akiko Suwanai (born in 1972) is one of the brightest violinists to have emerged in the late 20th century, winning the Tchaikovsky International Competition, the youngest person to do so, in 1990. She has gone on to an impressive concert and recording career that encompasses both traditional repertoire and world premieres. Her 2006 album J.S. Bach: Violin Concertos was an instant success. Her performance is impressive: incisive, nuanced, and idiomatic. Her tone has an appealing warmth, but she remains true to the character of the music and doesn't lapse into Romantic tone quality or interpretations.
The origin of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA) dates back to the Soviet era. It was founded by the violinist Zareh Sahakiants as the Armenian State Chamber Orchestra in 1961. In 1997 it was merged with the Yerevan Chamber Orchestra to form the new NCOA. As of September 2010 the Principal Conductor and Music Director is Vahan Mardirossian.
In April 1997, Armenia’s Ministry of Culture extended a special invitation to American-Armenian conductor Aram Gharabekian and appointed him as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the newly formed National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia. The twenty-five members of the NCOA exemplify the finest chamber music players in Armenia who are all graduates of the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan.