Roupen Shakarian, in his tenth season as music director of the Skagit Symphony, is an active composer and conductor. In October 2009, he appeared as guest conductor with the Seattle Symphony, and in June 2010 with the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra. He has also conducted the Victoria Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Youth Symphony, California Youth Symphony and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. For the past 24 years, he served as the music director of Philharmonia Northwest in Seattle, stepping down after the 2009-2010 season. With Skagit Opera, he has conducted performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance at McIntyre Hall.
A published composer and recipient of numerous commissions, his works include: Whimsy and Chamber Symphony for Philharmonia Northwest; Five Bagatelles for woodwind quintet; Inner Places for organ and brass quintet; Pastime for a small ensemble; Flute Concerto; and The Turnip, Clock, and the Kid, commissioned and recorded by The Rainier Chamber Winds.
Recent works include: “… is but a dream” for solo oboe, written for Rebecca Henderson and recorded by Ms. Henderson on Boston Records label; Other Voices for chorus and small ensemble, commissioned by the Midsummer Musical Retreat Board; two choral pieces: Almighty and Everlasting God, commissioned by Opus 7; and If Ye love Me, Keep My Commandments, published by Oxford University Press. Bone Island Suite, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra, received its premier in April 2006 with Philharmonia Northwest. In 2007, his Violin Concerto was premiered in addition to the performance of his Flute Concerto.
In July 2008, Roupen and his wife Shirley became full-time residents of Skagit Valley.