JOÃO KOUYOUMDJIAN is a Brazilian born classical guitarist of mixed Brazilian and Armenian ethnic heritage. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and the University of São Paulo where he studied under Sharon Isbin and Edelton Gloeden respectively. He has also studied with Preto Moreno as well as being a mentee of Paulo Martelli.
Since winning the XXI Souza Lima National Guitar Competition in São Paulo, Brazil in 2010, Kouyoumdjian has been building a steady international performance career that has spanned the United States, Brazil, Europe and Africa. Among his concert engagements, noted stops have included Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum. He has also performed as a guest soloist with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Yerevan, Armenia.
A native of São José do Rio Preto, Brazil, João Kouyoumdjian has been featured on numerous nationally televised concert series in his homeland, including the acclaimed Movimento Violão. In 2011, he premiered new works by Brazilian composers Ricardo Calderoni and Raimundo Penaforte at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall at the behest of the Consulate General of Brazil in New York in a program entitled, “Brazilian Guitar: Traditional and Tendencies”. This program inspired his first album Surfboard: Solo Guitar Works from Brazil (Pomegranate Music) in 2013. In 2015, João Kouyoumdjian released his second album - Kouyoumdjian Plays Bach: New Transcriptions for Guitar (Pomegranate Music), featuring his transcriptions of unaccompanied cello and violin works by J. S. Bach. This album was described by Classical Guitar Magazine (USA) as a “masterful presentation of premium-grade Bach” and upon its release was a CD pick of the week in Brazil’s most popular weekly magazine VEJA, describing João as an artist who “overcomes virtuoso challenges”.
Additionally, João’s interest and dedication towards teaching was highlighted in the press in 2010 with his interactive performance/on-stage teaching model called “Guitar Horizons”, which focused on educating youth in underdeveloped areas of São Paulo, Brazil.
João Kouyoumdjian resides in the Greater New York City area where he enjoys an active performance, teaching and recording schedule. He is currently on faculty at the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Music Center, New York City Guitar School and Newark School of the Arts.