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Pianist Raffi Besalyan’s “Dance, Drama, Decadence” Receives Rave Review from American Record Guide

February 6, 2013 | By Tina Doerr
Renowned Pianist Raffi Besalyan’s debut solo album entitled “Dance, Drama, Decadence” received another rave review, this time from American Record Guide, America’s oldest classical music review magazine. Below are excerpts:

“Besalyan has been lauded as the ‘true heir of the mainstream of Russian pianism, like Horowitz’ (Chopin Magazine). Those are big shoes to fill, but this Armenian pianist’s debut album proves that he is a formidable pianist with a commanding presence and rich interpretive gifts.”

“His Rachmaninoff is impressive, with sweeping lines and vivid textures. Besalyan is absolutely in control of every tempo change, figuration, and dynamic marking, balancing restraint with emotion so that the sonata is full of pathos without sounding overdone. The following polka is vibrantly done.”

“Besalyan’s fiery Mephisto Waltz serves as another showcase of his technical abilities and discipline. It never feels rushed and retains coherency despite its temperamental nature. This is not just ferocious virtuosity, either: Besalyan draws forth tender moods, too.”

“There are pieces by two Armenian composers. Baghdassarian’s preludes follow Rachmaninoff’s aesthetic closely with emphasis on lyricism and lush harmonies. Besalyan presents these engagingly. His interpretation of Komitas’s ‘Garuna’ is exquisite—and extremely lucid.”

“The recording has a rich and pure sound, capturing every sonority. Besalyan is an artist to watch, for sure.” - KANG (American Record Guide, March/April 2013)

In 2012, Raffi Besalyan established himself as an award-winning recording artist obtaining notable recognition in Japan and in the U.S. for his debut solo album. Released internationally in June by IMC Music Label, Japan, “Dance, Drama, Decadence” received the prestigious “Jun-Tokusen Award” (Exclusive Recommendation) as well as wonderful reviews from The Record Geijutsu, Japan’s leading classical music magazine.

Additionally, Besalyan was featured in the November/December 2012 issue of Fanfare Magazine in an extensive interview by Gavin Dixon followed by more rave reviews of "Dance, Drama, Decadence". Besalyan was also interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Norman Gilliland on “The Midday”, and the CD was aired on WPR (Madison, WI), KHPR (Honolulu, HI) and “Music Bird” (Tokyo, Japan).

Known for his musically inspiring performances and stunning artistry, Besalyan has toured North and South America, Europe, Russia and Asia as a recitalist and orchestral soloist. His performances have been applauded in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), and Orchestra Hall (Chicago). Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have praised his performances for their virility, poetry and extraordinary technical command.

Recent performances include a November 2012 concert tour in Japan in which Niigata Nippo Newspaper presented Besalyan in four concerts in the cities of Niigata, Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the newspaper. These live performances can be seen at and

“Dance, Drama, Decadence” has digital download distribution and can be purchased at and iTunes in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and the U.S.

For more information, please visit or contact Tina Doerr, Manager, by email ( or by phone (715-346-0004).




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