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MARO AJEMIAN

Maro Ajemian was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, of Armenian parents in 1920. A year later her family moved to the United States and settled in New York. She was educated at the Lincoln School of Teachers College of Columbia University, at the Institute of Musical Arts and the Juilliard Graduate School of Music. Her principal piano study was with Carl Friedberg. Many sources list her birth year erroneously as 1924, but on 23rd January 1927 she was a winner of the Distinguished Talent Medal at the New York Music Week Association interborough contest in Carnegie Hall. The New York Times indicated that she was six years old. Her formal concert début took place at Town Hall in New York on 11th March, 1940. On 14th March, 1942, she played the American première of the Khachaturian Piano Concerto (William Kapell heard her performance and himself performed the concerto a few months later at Lewisohn Stadium on 18th July, 1942). Throughout her life Ajemian championed contemporary American composers such as Alan Hovhaness, John Cage, Richard Yardumian, and Ben Weber, recording a number of their works. With her sister, violinist Anahid Ajemian, she often performed in joint recitals and recordings. Maro Ajemian died in 1978. Among her earliest recordings is a 1947 performance with her sister, on which the opposite side features her as piano soloist in Bartók’s Bulgarian Dance No. 1, from Mikrokosmos.


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