Hailed for her “magnificent singing line and an exquisite artistic sensibility”, Armenian-born pianist Sofya Melikyan is recognized as an “artist with a unique voice” (Mundoclasico). To date, Ms. Melikyan toured throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and USA. She appeared as a soloist with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Cordoba Orchestra, Valencia Symphony Orchestra, New Europe Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Andalucía, among others. Recent performance highlights include concerts at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York, Palace of Festivals in Santander, Teatro Monumental in Madrid, Izumi Hall in Osaka, “Salle Cortot” in Paris, Dweck Center in New York, Philharmonic Hall in Yerevan, as well as Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. Ms. Melikyan's performances have been broadcast by the National Radio and Television of Spain, National Radio and Television of Armenia, Chicago WFMT Radio Station, Melbourne ABC Classic FM Radio Station, New York WQXR Radio Station, Mezzo French Television Station, among others. Ms. Melikyan has also released two CDs featuring music of Haydn, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Albéniz, Dutilleux and Khachaturian.

Sofya Melikyan has been awarded First Prize and a Prize for outstanding Music Talent at the Marisa Montiel International Piano Competition in Linares, First Prize at the Ibiza International Piano Competition in Spain, First Prize for Music Interpretation awarded by “Amigos del Colegio de España” Association in Paris. She was also a winner of “Artists International” Competition in New York and received top and special prizes at the José Iturbi and Maria Canals International Competitions in Spain. As a member of New York based Sima Trio, she was a Gold Medal winner at the New England International Chamber Music Competition in Boston and 2nd Prize winner at J.C. Arriaga International Chamber Music Competition in Stamford, USA.

Future engagements include debut China recital tour, concerts in Zurich, Bern, Yerevan, New York, Madrid, Chicago, as well as invitations to Schloss Wonfurt Musikfest in Germany and Joaquin Turina International Chamber Music Festival in Seville, Spain.

Sofya Melikyan completed her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid with Joaquin Soriano (graduated with Honors), Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris with Ramzi Yassa and Manhattan School of Music in New York with Solomon Mikowsky. Other pianists who have mentored her are Brigitte Engerer, Galina Eguiazarova and Elena Tatulyan.  


now and present...

pascal niggenkemper bass


  New York City-based German-French bassist, composer and improviser Pascal Niggenkemper is a performing and recording artist active on the creative music scene in the US and in Europe.

From 1999-2005 he was musicaly active in Cologne having studied jazz & classical double bass at the Hochschule für Musik. In 2005 he received the DAAD award and moved to New York.

From 2008 to 2010 Pascal led the PNTrio with Tyshawn Sorey and Robin Verheyen. (CD "pasàpas" Konnex 2008 & “urban creatures” JazzHausMusik 2010). The trio toured extensively in Europe. Performances at the Jazzcologne Festival, Jazzherbst Konstanz and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Recordings for the WDR and the BR Radio.

In cooperation with Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Pascal formed the septet vision7 that performed at Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vive le Jazz in Cologne, Jazz à la Cité in Paris and at the Pori Jazz in Finland. (CD ‘Lucky Prime’ clean feed records Sept 2013)

In September 2011 Pascal released with Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver the CD/LP upcoming hurricane on NoBusiness Records which is listed among 'Albums of the year' 2011 in the 'The New York City Jazz Record'. The trio performed in Canada and the USA.

He recently recorded a new solo program called: ‘look with thine ears’ music for bass & preparations was premiered at the Jazzdor Festival in Strasbourg in November 2013. The CD was released in March 2015 on clean feed records.

In 2014 he presented the double trio ‘le 7eme continent’ with the program ‘talking trash’ at the Vive le Jazz festival in Cologne, Germany and the concert was broadcast by WDR3 radio.

Pascal is co-leading the groups baloni with Frantz Loriot viola and Joachim Badenhorst clarinets (CD ‘fremdenzimmer’ 2011, ‘Belleke’ 2014 & ‘Ripples’ 2015 clean feed records) PascAli a duo for two prepared basses with Sean Ali (CD ‘suspicious activity’ creative sources 2012) and Miner’s Pick with Thomas Heberer. (CD ‘miner’s pick’ FMR records 2014)

With friends, he curates in NY the house concert series ze couch, where every month artists meet to present their work.

Festival presence includes: Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vision Festival New York, Umbrella Festival Chicago, Banlieues Bleues Paris, Strade del Cinema Aosta, météo Mulhouse, Jazzcologne, JIGG Lisbon, Taktlos Zurich, Jazz à la Cité in Paris, ESCUCHA Madrid, Washington DC Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Middelheim Antwerp, Grenzenlos Köln, undead Jazzfest NYC, D’Jazz Nevers, NewAdits Klagenfurt, Font New York, Music Unlimited Wels, Vive le Jazz Cologne, GONG Aarau, Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf, Ljubljana Jazz Festival etc...

He received the following scholarships/grants: DAAD, Henry Mancini Institute, North Rhine-Westphalia composition stipend.




Sofya Melikyan y Pascal Niggenkemper presentan un proyecto colaborativo en el que emparejan y contrastan sus respectivos mundos musicales: la literatura clásica para piano frente a la improvisación libre en el contrabajo. Sofya interpreta obras de compositores de nuestros días que marcaron y continúan marcando nuevos caminos en la música. A cada composición le seguirá una improvisación al contrabajo preparado. El contrabajo "preparado" es un tema central en las improvisaciones de Pascal, quien crea mundos autónomos y paisajes sonoros a través de un vocabulario innovador repleto de sorpresas.

Andy Akiho_                                                            Vick(i/y) - para piano preparado (2008)

Raquel Quiaro_                                                                                     Cluster Suite (2014)

John Corigliano_                                                                           Estudio - Fantasia (1976)

Jirayr Shahrimanyan_                                                       Cuatro Tankas para piano (2011)


Geoff Sheil_                                                                   Newport - para piano y cinta (2013)

presented on July 19, 2014 at lo otro in Madrid, Spain

Sofya Melikyan_ piano

Pascal Niggenkemper_ double bass

Sofya Melikyan and Pascal Niggenkemper present a collaborative project by pairing and juxtaposing their respective musical worlds: classical piano literature versus contemporary bass improvisation. Sofya will perform piano pieces of living composers who mark new paths in music. Each piece will be followed by a double bass improvisation. The “prepared” bass is a central theme in Pascal's improvisations, creating entire worlds and soundscapes using the expanding vocabulary of the bass in its altered state.

© Richard D Bergeron