The Kennedy Center

William Haroutounian


William Haroutounian was born in Iran of Armenian ancestry. He began his study of the violin at the age of six with Ruben Gregorian, director of the Teheran Conservatory, giving his first solo recital at the age of nine. After completing a concert tour of that country, he came to the United States at the age of 12 to further his study of violin. As a high school student, he was enrolled in the Boston Conservatory Preparatory Division and was a member of the Springfield (Massachusetts) and the Portland (Maine) Symphonies. Among numerous appearances in the Boston area, he was soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra at the age of 14.

Mr. Haroutounian was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1959 where he studied with Toshiya Eto and Oscar Shumsky. During his stay in Philadelphia, he was a member of the Philadelphia Grand and Lyric Opera Orchestras and the Amado String Quartet, the resident group for the Philadelphia Composers Forum. He performed extensively in solo and chamber concerts in the Philadelphia-New York area, including several appearances at Carnegie Recital Hall.

He spent fourteen summers at the New Marlboro Music Center in Massachusetts as head of the violin and chamber music departments and as general manager of the Center for five years. As a member of the New Marlboro Chamber Players, he appeared in numerous concerts at the Center and throughout the East Coast.

Mr. Haroutounian, the longest serving current member of the orchestra, joined the National Symphony in 1963 under the direction of Howard Mitchell. While a member of the Symphony, he received a Master of Music degree from the Catholic University in 1972. Locally he has appeared in performances with the Washington Consort, Twentieth Century Consort, Theater Chamber Players, the Shenandoah String Quartet, and the National Symphony Chamber Players. He was concertmaster of the American Chamber Orchestra for twelve years, and frequently performed as soloist with the ensemble. Mr. Haroutounian has performed as soloist with the National Symphony on several occasions, including the United States premiere of Arutiunian's Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra as soloist with the National Symphony under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich.

Mr. Haroutounian has served on the faculties of Shenandoah College and Conservatory, American University, Catholic University, and George Mason University. He currently serves on the board of the MusicLink Foundation, a national non-profit organization that provides ongoing music instruction to promising students in need.
William Haroutounian