The famous Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan founded the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO) in 2005. He and a group of gifted young musicians who share similar love and dedication toward music and art, in general, decided to come together to make their dream of an orchestra come true. At that time the Orchestra was still known as the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. Now, it is known as the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO). Note that Sergey Smbatyan is not only the Founder but also the Artistic Director and the Principal Conductor of the ASSO.
The ASSO has performed in numerous venues both in Armenia and elsewhere. World-famous concert halls have hosted the ASSO including but not limited to concert halls in Germany, France, Russia, Belgium, China, The Netherlands, Italy, Lebanon, etc. The musicians have performed in Opera Garnier (Paris), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Dr. Anton Philipszaal (Hague), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), P.Tchaikovsky Philharmonic Concert Hall and Conservatory Great Concert Hall (Moscow), etc.
The Orchestra has taken part in numerous international festivals, to name a few, “Moscow Easter Festival” (Moscow/Russia), “YOUNG.EURO.CLASSIC’’ (Berlin/Germany), Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and many others.
In addition, the ASSO has been the resident orchestra at the Aram Khachaturian International Competition (since 2007), “Armenia” International Music Festival (since 2018) and performed as a resident orchestra at the Musica Riva International Festival (2013, Riva del Garda/Italy), the 9th Frederic Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists (2014, Foshan/China), the Al Bustan International Festival (2014, 2015, 2016, Beirut/Lebanon), Malta International Music Festival (2018), etc.
The ASSO has worked with Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Maxim Vengerov, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Vag Papyan, Boris Berezovsky and many others. The musicians have got a rich portfolio of interesting musical projects and charitable events both in Armenia and overseas.
Since 2010, the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra has been holding the annual Armenian Composers’ Art Festival. Since 2013, with the support of the RA Ministry of Culture, the Orchestra has been organizing the yearly Khachaturian International Festival. The ASSO continually presents new exciting projects, such as concert series entitled “Hollywood Non-Stop,” “Cartoon Non-Stop,” “Tours to...” and others.
Another fantastic project is the regular series “Master Creates Masters.” Within this project, the younger musicians get the chance to take master classes from world-famous masters such as Valery Gergiev, Zakhar Bron, and many others.
The extensive repertoire of the Orchestra ranges from classical to contemporary music. In 2011 the Orchestra, headed by the artistic director and principal conductor Sergey Smbatyan, released its first CD entitled "Music is the Answer." Recorded at Sony recording studio, the CD includes works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Eduard Hayrapetyan.