Levon Chilingirian

Key details:

Chamber Music | Strings, Harp & Guitar
Violin Tutor (Strings); Chamber Music Coach (Chamber Music)
Levon Chilingirian


Levon Chilingirian was born in Cyprus to Armenian parents and was introduced to music from a very early age through his pianist mother and violinist great uncle.  When the family immigrated to London in 1960, Levon concentrated on the violin, studying at the Royal College of Music. 

His long-standing partnership with Clifford Benson was launched by winning First Prize in both the 1969 BBC Beethoven Competition and the 1971 Munich Duo International Competition. Recital appearances have taken the duo to most European countries and their recordings include works by Schubert and Frank Bridge.

From his student days, Levon Chilingirian was drawn to the wonderfully rich chamber music repertoire and in 1971 formed the Chilingirian Quartet with three other ex-RCM students. The Quartet has held residencies at Liverpool and Sussex Universities and at the Royal College of Music. The Chilingirian Quartet has played in all major centres in North America as well as regular visits to all the European capital cities and main festivals. They make annual appearances at London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls and have given Beethoven Cycles in London, Sydney and Melbourne, a Schubert Cycle in Paris, and premieres of works by John Tavener and Hugh Wood.

In addition, Levon has always enjoyed recital and concerto appearances. He was invited to perform the Sinfonia Concertante on the Amadeus soundtrack by Sir Neville Marriner and performed the Brahms Double Concerto with Steven Isserlis in Yerevan. He led a performance of the Schubert Quintet at the Wigmore Hall. He has played the Tippett Triple concerto with six different orchestras and his recording of the piece for Chandos with Richard Hickox had the enthusiastic endorsement of the composer. Other distinguished partners include Sir Andrew Davis, Tadaki Otaka, Sir Charles Groves, Jeremy Menuhin and Steven De Groote and organist William McVicker. 

Levon was invited to give the string masterclass for the BBC TV’s Young Musician of the Year and has appeared as soloist with the BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bournemouth, Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber, Bergen Philharmonic, Armenian Philharmonic, and Russian National Orchestras. He has received the Cobbett Medal, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s chamber music award and, in January 2000, an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List for his services to music. 

By playing and directing the Camerata Nordica, Chilingirian has become an important part of Swedish musical life since 1996. In Armenia, Chilingirian has organised two competitions for young string players and has made annual visits to perform and coach chamber music with young musicians. His collaboration with Alexander Chaushian continued with the Pharos Chamber Soloists and as co-Artistic Directors of the Pharos International Chamber Music Festival in Cyprus for over ten years. Levon is also Artistic Director of the Mendlessohn on Mull Festival, encouraging the artistic development of young professionals through performances with more experienced mentors.