Armenian American pianist Kariné Poghosyan ’03 (Music Keyboard/Piano Performance) returned to her alma mater March 8, honoring her heritage with an intimate performance of works by Armenia’s best-known composer, Aram Khachaturian, and surrounded by fans seated on The Soraya stage.

Poghosyan, who made her solo Carnegie Hall debut at age 23, is known for her stylistic flair and the emotions she uncovers in the works she performs. She recently performed two sold-out recitals at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, including a CD release concert of her “Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky” recording on Centaur Records.

The first half of her sold-out show at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian for the Performing Arts featured several of Khachaturian’s compositions, including two excerpts from his ballets and a rarely performed piano sonata. Poghosyan performed her own adaptation of his piece “Oror” — which means “Lullaby” — from his ballet “Gayaneh.” She also honored Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 150th birthday with the 1931 rewritten version of his beloved “Piano Sonata No. 2.”

This was the first alumni concert hosted by the Younes and Soraya Center for Performing Arts since the COVID-19 related closure of the theater. Poghosyan’s performance was underwritten by Milt Valera ’68 (Journalism) and Debbie Valera, including support for tickets for students and alumni across campus.

At a reception after the show, Poghosyan met students and faculty from CSUN’s Armenian Studies program in the College of Humanities and members of the CSUN Armenian Alumni Association. The day before the performance, she also conducted a master class for piano students in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.


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