Principal of Lark Conservatory

Ashot Kartalyan (born 1985) is a Los Angeles-based composer, pianist, music director, orchestrator, and educator. His compositions — which range from contemporary chamber pieces to film scores to choral works — have garnered international attention for their structural intricacy and have been performed by leading musicians the world over. Kartalyan specializes in writing for chamber ensembles, often incorporating modal themes, many of which have Armenian roots. He has been recurrently commissioned by the Dilijan Chamber Music Series, for which he has written five pieces to date, including the Suite for Saxophone & Percussion (2015) and Cypresses (2017).

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, and raised in Southern California, Kartalyan honed his musical skills from an early age under the tutelage of his father, composer and jazz pianist Artashes, and at the Lark Conservatory, under the wing of maestro Vatsche Barsoumian. As he continued his studies in piano performance at Lark, he developed a natural talent for composition at the age of 12, and went on to be the first Composition graduate of the Conservatory. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from California State University, Northridge.

Kartalyan is also an established pianist and keyboardist, having performed for sold-out audiences across the globe at such venues as the Sydney Opera House and London’s Wembly Arena. Through his role as the Principal of Lark Conservatory — a core division of the non-profit cultural institution Lark Musical Society in Los Angeles — he dedicatedly works to make high-caliber classical musical education accessible to the local community. He continues to teach music theory, harmony, and a variety of performance ensemble classes, and strives to instill in his students a passion for fine arts.