THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Solange Merdinian.
Acclaimed for her “smoldering stage presence,” (The New York Times) her “richly-hued voice” (BBC Music magazine), the New York based American-Argentinean mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian has garnered an international reputation for her versatility and interpretation as a recitalist, chamber musician, and opera singer in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary, folk, tango, cabaret and world music. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the nonprofit organization, New Docta, and the New Docta Festival in Argentina.
Highlights include critically praised “ tour de force” principal role in Maria de Buenos Aires, Opera Tango by Piazzolla; Amor Brujo by de Falla; singing at Madison Square Garden in NYC, representing Argentina with the National Anthem; French pop debut for the Hollywood movie The Hundred-foot Journey: “My mind is a stranger without you”; and as a special guest performer at the UN General Assembly for India’s 70th Independence Day with renown multi award winner composer and singer AR Rahman.
She is the 2019 winner of the Pro Musicis Competition. On March 2020, she released her debut album “Composing Roots” in collaboration with guitarist and arr. Federico Diaz, and pianist and arr. Pablo Zinger. She will make her Carnegie Hall Solo Debut Recital in October 7th, 2020. She graduated with a Master in Voice and Vocal Performance from Bard College Conservatory and she received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School. She is an effective advocate for social, educational, and cultural programs through music. www.solangemerdinian.com
Question: What is your life philosophy?
I always strive to be the best version of myself in all areas, from the personal to the professional. My philosophy is to inspire, share, and create an impact while giving back to society.
Question: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian?
How extensive my global family is. Given that I have been lucky to sing in many different countries and communities, everywhere I have been, I made a point to try to meet Armenian people in each place. This always makes me feel at home.
Question: How has the Armenian culture shaped/influenced you?
It has influenced me 100%, we have such a rich and strong culture, which our musical icons, as well as our poets, writers, visual artists, left us with so much. Since I was a kid, being born and having lived in Argentina, and moving to the US as a teenager, being Armenian is the one common thread that made me belong globally. Sharing my identity with my non-Armenian colleagues, made me unique. I feel proud of our identity and our rich culture. Being an ambassador for our culture has made me the artist I am today.
I am just another voice that keeps our culture alive, a culture that still has much more room in this world to be cherished and re-discovered.
Listen to some of her incredible music by visiting: https://solangemerdinian.hearnow.com