Karenn Chutjian Presti considers herself very fortunate in being able to work in the three fields she loves: music, pedagogy, and language. As a pianist, Presti has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborator, winning competitions such as the US Open Music Competition, the Leni FéBland Foundation Competition, and the Armenian Allied Arts Competition. She has played for the studios of legendary teachers such as Felicia Weathers, Eleanor and Alice Schoenfeld, and Midori. Active in both Europe and the United States, Presti’s “superbly offered” evening of art song in Bavaria’s Stadttheater Ingolstadt led to her work as a pianist and vocal coach at the Heppel & Ettlich Theater in Munich.
Presti’s passion for music instruction and her academic field in pedagogy under Dr. Sheila Woodward have gained her faculty positions at the San Domenico School, the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, Munich International School, and the Artetonal Schule für Musik. Her study of political science under Dr. Richard Dekmejian at USC led to her dissertation, “The Reality of Social Realism: Socialist Realism and its Application to Soviet Armenian Composers”. Her musicological studies have seen fruition in her many pre-concert lectures for the Lark Musical Society and in her position as the Lecturer for M134, Introduction to Armenian Music, at UCLA.
Fluent in five languages, Presti is a California native and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, from the studio of Mack McCray. As a doctoral and masters student at USC, where she studied with Prof. Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Dr. Alan Smith, Dr. Stewart Gordon, and Dr. Lucinda Carver (harpischord), Presti was the recipient of awards including the Koldofsky Memorial Music Scholarship, the Briggs Memorial Music Scholarship, and the Recognition for Excellence in Collaborative Piano.