Levon Chilingirian was born in Cyprus into a musical Armenian family. In London he studied at the Royal College of Music where he is now a professor. His early influences in music were his uncle, violinist Manoug Parikian, his teacher Hugh Bean, musicologist Hans Keller, and the Amadeus Quartet. His long-standing partnership with Clifford Benson was launched by winning the first prizes in both the 1969 BBC Beethoven Competition and the 1971 Munich Duo International Competition. Recital appearances have taken the duo to most European countries and their recordings include works by Schubert and Frank Bridge
The Chilingirian Quartet was formed in 1971 and is one of the most active and celebrated string quartets on the international scene with tours to over fifty countries on six continents. The Quartet’s highly regarded and wide-ranging recorded repertoire spans classical to contemporary works.
Levon Chilingirian also performs as a soloist, in recitals and concerto appearances with numerous orchestras, and with other chamber music partners. He performed the Sinfonia Concertante on the Amadeus soundtrack by Sir Neville Marriner and was invited by Steven Isserlis to lead a performance of the Schubert Quintet to end the millennium’s music at Wigmore Hall. He has been the artistic director and first violin of the Camerata Nordica in Sweden and is also the artistic director of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival and of the Pharos Festival in Cyprus. Recently he has given masterclasses at the New England Conservatory in Boston and, with the Chilingirian Quartet, is directing the teaching of chamber music for the well-known El Sistema in Venezuela.
Chilingirian received the Cobbett Medal, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s chamber music award and, in January 2000, an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List.