Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Karen Durgaryan has been the Principal Conductor of the Armenian National State Opera and Ballet Theatre for over 15 years. Karen graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory in 1996 and has studied with Prof. Mousin at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1997. In 1995 he was appointed an Associate Conductor of the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra and the following year has been the Music Director of "Britten and Armenia" International Music Festival in Yerevan.
Karen Durgaryan regularly conducts the best opera houses in Russia: between 2008 and 2010 has been a guest of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and on tour, then has started a collaboration with the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg: by the invitation of maestro Valery Gergiev he has conducted the new production of “Spartacus” Ballet which he still regularly conducts both in St. Petersburg and on tour. He was invited again for the White Nights Festival 2013, celebrating the opening of the new Mariinsky Two and the 60th birthday of Maestro Valery Gergiev. He also regularly appears at the Kazan State Opera and Ballet Theatre both in Kazan and on tour.
His international conducting activity has had a special focus in Italy, where he has conducted the Teatro Lirico, Cagliari, the Teatro Regio Torino, the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova, a new production of Evgeni Onegin by P.I.Tchaikovsky at the Teatro Verdi, Sassari in addition to concerts with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and with the “Luigi Cherubini” Orchestra and the Toradze Piano Studio’s soloists, including its internationally famous leader at the Ravenna Festival. He also appeared regularly with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo.
Karen Durgaryan has also conducted at the Leipzig Opera (recently on tour in Bogotà, Colombia) and at the Opéra National de Lyon; in December 2016 he made his debut at the Bayerisches Staatsoper conducting a new production of Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian, which he also presented at the Royal Ballet of Wallonia in January 2017 with the Brussels Philharmonic. Replacing Yuri Temirkanov he made a remarkable debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in an all-Prokofiev program in November – December 2016.
Since 2015 Karen Durgaryan has a privileged relationship with the NOVAT, the Opera House of Novisibirsk (Russia), where he conducts most of the ballet productions (Cipollino, Giselle, Spartacus, Le corsaire, Don Quixote, La Bayadère). In March 2017 he has conducted the première of the new production of Peer Gynt by Grieg with the choreography of Edward Klug.
Karen Durgaryan holds the title of Honored Artist of Republic of Armenia and in 2010 was awarded with the highest medal of Armenia in field of art and culture.