Professor Haroutune Bedelian Retires
In 1997, Haroutune Bedelian told a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t know what it means not to be a musician. It goes with breathing, with living, everything.” That sentiment embodies the tenure of our beloved violin professor.
Bedelian was born in 1945 on the island of Cyprus located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, where his family were refugees escaping the Armenian Genocide in Turkish Armenia. At 15, he won a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London. At 20, he won First Prize in the BBC Violin Competition. His studies continued in New York with Ivan Galamian and later with Nathan Milstein in London, where he began his teaching career as a professor of violin at his alma mater.
Bedelian joined the UCI faculty in 1988 as a lecturer for the Department of Music. He was promoted to full professor in 1993. He has performed concerts in major cities, festivals and concert halls throughout North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East, and has appeared in numerous radio and television broadcasts. In 2007, Bedelian released a DVD compilation of J. S. Bach’s 6 Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. This was followed by the release on CD of the same works with the 1853 piano accompaniment by Robert Schumann with pianist Lorna Griffitt. Among his many professional accolades, The Times of London described Bedelian best – “Virtuosity comes to him as second nature, but it is used as a means to the interpretive freedom and sense of style that characterizes his playing above all else.”
Professor Bedelian officially retired on July 1, 2020, and plans to continue performing once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. He looks forward to reading, practicing, and occasional travels with his wife, Lorna. In his over 50-year career of teaching, Bedelian leaves behind the legacy of musicians Vahan Bedelian (his father) and Manoug Parikian (his cousin), as well as the aforementioned Ivan Galamian and Nathan Milstein who were his foremost teachers.
Image: Haroutune Bedelian and his wife, Lorna Griffitt, performing at the 2015 Siletz Bay Music Festival (Photo:Bob Gibson, The Photography Studio, Lincoln City, Oregon)