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Varujan Kojian


Varujan Kojian was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1945. The son of a professional jazz clarinettist, Kojian began to study the violin at the age of eight. After seven months of study, he gave a recital that came to the attention of the president of Lebanon, who decided to send him to Paris to study at government expense. Varujan Kojian distinguished himself at a very young age as an outstanding violinist, and not long thereafter as a conductor.

Graduating from the Paris Conservatorie at the age of thirteen with a first prize in violin, he went to the United States to study with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music. Later, as one of 280 violin students to audition for Jascha Heifetz’s masterclasses, he was one of the three selected. After four years of study with Heifetz, Zubin Mehta offered the nineteen-year-old Varujan Kojian the post of assistant concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. While serving in this capacity, he became interested in conducting. For practical experience, he formed an orchestra of his own, and later becoming musical director of the Beverly Hills Orchestra.

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