Mental Health Advocate/Musician to Open Piano Series

By | October 3, 2017

Hailed by the London Times as “a pianist of powerful physical and imaginative muscle,” Tanya Gabrielian has captivated audiences worldwide with her gripping performances. The International Piano Series (IPS) is thrilled that Gabrielian will open its 2017– 2018 season on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m., at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. General admission is $20 and free for all students and College of Charleston employees. Tickets and season subscriptions can be purchased online, at the door, or by calling (843) 953-6315. The concert is sponsored by the Remington Master Artist Series. More info: go.cofc.edu/ips

Having launched her career with back-to-back victories in the Scottish International Piano Competition and Aram Khachaturyan International Piano Competition, Gabrielian has performed in some of the most notable venues across the world. In addition to the traditional concert stage, she is passionate about inspiring new generations of musicians and music lovers in diverse settings, dedicated to community engagement, education, and activism through art — especially highlighting the stigma around mental health issues by working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Gabrielian has focused on building partnerships with schools, institutions, and diverse venues to educate audiences of all ages about the history and contemporary relevance of the arts, all while inspiring new ways of listening to and playing music. She will be working locally with the Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center (CDMHC) during her IPS residency. Executive Director of CDMHC, Deborah Blalock, says “CDMHC is honored to join forces with Ms. Gabrielian, the College of Charleston and NAMI in the fight against stigma for those living with mental illness. We are looking forward to the powerful experience of Ms. Gabrielian’s performance.”

Last month, Gabrielian released her debut album “Remix,” on MSR Classics. The album features piano transcriptions of Bach’s solo cello and violin music, inspired by a physically and mentally trying hospitalization for a spinal injury, during which she found solace in the music of Bach. A nine-date tour accompanies the album release, including her Charleston concert. Gabrielian has frequently partnered with NAMI in the past, in the hopes that the music which had such a healing effect during her time of need might offer similar support to them. CDS will be available for purchase at the concert.

Gabrielian’s interests have always been diverse. Admitted to Harvard University to study biomedical engineering at the age of sixteen, she instead pursued a career in music, completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Royal Academy of Music in London, originally studying both piano and viola. She received the prize for the best final recital for all six years of study and received a DipRAM, the highest performance award given by the Royal Academy of Music. Gabrielian then finished her studies at The Juilliard School as the only candidate accepted for the prestigious Artist Diploma, an extraordinarily selective post-graduate residency program. She currently lives in New York City and is a Shigeru Kawai Recording Artist.

Watch videos of Gabrielian


Housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts, the International Piano Series is Charleston’s longest running, year-round program with a pure focus on piano. Consistent with the School’s mission, IPS plays a distinctive role in the lives of students and the community by implementing excellence in the arts and education and cultivating piano music appreciation.
For the rest of the IPS season, Artistic Director Dr. Paul Sánchez has assembled a stellar roster of performers: Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, Igor Lipinski and Barry Douglas.
View a video about the IPS season and find more information about the 2017-18 IPS season.