Armenian pianists win top prizes at Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford

Left to right: Vartan Arakelian and Seiran Tozlian

HARTFORD, CT – Local high-school student and pianist Vartan Arakelian and pianist Seiran Tozlian of Armenia each received second prize at this year’s Chopin International Piano Competition.

Arakelian, a ninth grade student at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols, was awarded the silver medal in the “Young Artists” category among 24 pianists ages 13 to 17. He performed works by Bach, Chopin and Janacek. Arakelian is a student of Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian. He was awarded a cash prize, as well as an invitation to participate in the International Chopin Festival for young artists in Busko-Zdroj in Poland this summer. Arakelian was also the first prize winner in last year’s Mildred Freiberg Middle School Competition, sponsored by the New England Piano Teachers Association in collaboration with M. Steinert & Sons of Boston.

Following his performance in the “Professional” category, Tozlian also received a cash prize and an invitation for performances in Poland. The 20 year-old pianist presented a wide range of compositions by Chopin, Debussy, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Ligeti in the preliminary and final rounds of the competition. Seiran was also a prize winner at the Anselmo Academy of Music’s Fifth International Competition in New York and a semi-finalist at the 2023 Boesendorfer-Yamaha International Piano Competition.

The annual Chopin International Piano Competition is sponsored by the Hartford Chopin Foundation. Now in its 14th year, the four-day event, which took place from March 8-12, drew 85 aspiring pianists of various ages. This year’s edition saw participating pianists representing the US, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, China, South Korea and Armenia.

The international jury consisted of pianists Krystian Tkaczewski of Poland and USA, Josephine Koh of Singapore, Philippe Raskin of Belgium, Adolfe Vidal of Venezuela, Mina Perry of Japan, Michael Bulychev-Okser of the United States, and Mikhail Voskresensky of Russia.

Both Arakelian and Tozlian appeared in the Winners’ Gala concert on March 12 at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Congratulations to both young pianists, and best wishes of success in the next stages of your musical development. We look forward to hearing more good news from you in the future.

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