NDR Kultur

» Devilish, virtuoso, and simply: brilliant. «

November 2021


Austrian pianist and composer Kiron Atom Tellian currently pursues his bachelor’s degree at The Juilliard School in New York, studying with Maestro Sergei Babayan. He is a proud recipient of the prestigious Kovner Fellowship, which, among other things, covers all expenses for the entire duration of his studies.

Growing up in Vienna, Tellian started studying piano at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) when he was only seven years old, going on to play his debut with orchestra at the age of nine.


The Tennessean

»…an incredible combination of sensitivity and taste. «

October 2023


Tellian is the winner of countless first prizes at national and international competitions for piano, chamber music, and composition in Austria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia, Russia, England, the USA, and Japan. 

Especially noteworthy are the first prize and Haydn prize at the prestigious 17th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany, the grand prize and special prizes at the X. Savshinsky International Music Competition in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and three first prizes in three different categories at the Fifth Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition in New York City, USA. 

In October 2023 Tellian won the Grand Prize (Alexei Sultanov Memorial Discovery Prize), as well as the prizes for the best mazurka and the best Etude at the Nashville International Chopin Competition.


Badische Neueste Nachrichten

» The bravura and maturity of his playing render speechless. «

October 2021


As a composer, Tellian’s works span different instruments and ensembles, with many compositions winning first prizes at composers’ competitions. Recently he has been commissioned to write a piano concerto to be performed at the Vienna Musikverein.

Tellian has a deep passion for chamber music—he enjoys performing with great artists such as Benjamin Schmid, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Dominik Wagner, and Julia Hagen.

Some of the last seasons’ special moments were concerts with the conductor and violinist Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, involving duo recitals in the Shoe Factory in Cyprus, as part of the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany, with a live broadcast in the NDR, as well as at the Viotti-Festival in Italy.

This season, with Tellian currently focusing on works by Frédéric Chopin, he played Chopin recitals for the opening of the prestigious music festival Kulturfest im Schloss Walpersdorf as well as at the Konzerthaus Blaibach—returning to both venues next season. Another highlight was his invitation to the Verbier Festival, performing both solo and chamber music.

Next season will bring recitals in the Vienna Konzerthaus, Konzerthaus Blaibach, and festival Kultur im Schloss Walpersdorf, as well as concerts with orchestras such as the WKO Heilbronn.



» For this young Austrian, twenty-one years old, it's not enough to merely navigate the technical difficulties and great virtuosity demanded by Chopin’s works—he immerses himself completely in the essence of the music to convey its full emotional weight.

Even though he is still very young, he possesses great maturity, and his touch is already exceptional. Kiron Atom Tellian belongs to the rare breed of pianists who caress the piano, whose fingers lovingly glide over the keyboard, drawing out infinite nuances, from the most subtle and gentle to the most vigorous and dynamic. He is among those who do not just play but are truly in the music.

Under his fingers, the piano comes to life and tells incredible stories, ever-changing—like the moods of the composers he interprets. Here Frédéric Chopin, with his Mazurkas (Nos. 1 to 4, Op. 33) and the Sonata in B minor Op. 58—fragile, sometimes fleeting, nostalgic too, interspersed with bursts of drama, sparkling and ephemeral like the reflections of light on the water's surface. About Chopin, he says: ‘The works are profound and moving, and there is always more to explore […] you could spend several lifetimes with his music without ever reaching the depths of what he expressed in his music.’

Listening to him play, one enters an inner dream where the incredible fluidity of his interpretation is matched by its great intensity, where the precision of touch, like a musical lace free of dryness, is accompanied by sonorous amplitude and a sense of movement. One enters a state of weightlessness—following, as if suspended, by the whims of the wind blown by the performer.

A young man already laden with awards

Kiron Atom Tellian, born in Vienna, began studying piano at the University for Music and Performing Arts of the Austrian capital at seven and made early debuts with an orchestra when he was nine. A student at the Julliard School under Armenian-born pianist Sergei Babayan while completing his bachelor's degree, he received the Kovner Fellowship which, among other things, covers the cost of his entire education. A winner of numerous international awards in piano, chamber music, and composition, he won the first prize and the Haydn Prize at the 17th International Piano Competition in Ettlingen, Germany, the Grand Prix, and special prizes at the X. Savshinsky Music Competition in Saint Petersburg, as well as the first three prizes, in three different categories, at the 5th International Bach Rosalyn Tureck Competition in New York. At the International Chopin Competition in Nashville, he won the Alexei Sultanov Memorial Discovery Grand Prize, as well as the prizes for best mazurka and best etude. He is among those we would love to see evolve... «

Les Arts-Chipels

December 2023


» Finalist Kiron Atom Tellian, a 21-year-old from Austria, played with an incredible combination of sensitivity and taste. His Saturday performance was delicate and gentle, as he touched the keys with tender flutters and extreme precision. [...]

The grand prize for the competition, the $20,000 Alexei Sultanov Memorial Discovery Prize, went to contestant Kiron Atom Tellian. Tellian, a sophomore at The Juilliard School in New York City, told The Tennessean, "I am unbelievably overwhelmed. This is such an incredible privilege and honor to receive such an award."

Tellian has been almost exclusively studying the works of Chopin for the past year. Tellian said, "[Chopin's] works are profound in the deepest way, and moving, that there's always more to explore. I think you can spend multiple lifetimes with his music and still not possibly reach the bottom of what he expressed in his writing." «

The Tennessean

October 2023


» Nonetheless, Tellian’s fingers flew about the keyboard, perfectly depicting the weightless elegance of the waltz, but also thunderous, emphatic and almost explosive exclamations, which alltogether made for an easily understood and highly successful interpretation. [...] An extraordinary opportunity for Tellian to get lost in fluid, crystallized and sensitively emotional colors. But only to finally - suddenly - jump into an agitated and dramatic tempo, all the while not getting carried away, but carefully and thoughtfully phrasing each note. [...] Highlight of the evening was Franz Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy”: starting with a concise theme, impressfully presented by Tellian, to culminate in a ferocious finale which was rewarded with standing ovations by the audience. «

Gerd Klingeberg — Weser Kurier

March 2022


» The pianist Kiron Atom Tellian is sitting at the black Steinway grand piano. Playing the violin: Emmanuel Tjeknavorian. [...] And although the 19 year-old Kiron Atom Tellian stepped in to play this concert only a couple of days ago, the two musicians give an impression of having played together for decades. [...] They concluded the evening’s concert with the Rondo Brillant by Franz Schubert. Devilish, virtuoso and simply: brilliant. «

NDR Kultur

November 2021


» [...] in category A Maria Eydman and in category B Kiron Atom Tellian emerged winners of the competition. The two pianists recently gave a prize-winner’s concert in the Asamsaal of Schloss Ettlingen - and the bravura and maturity of their artistry renders speechless. Once, highly technically demanding masterworks like Ravel’s “La Valse” or even his “Gaspard de la nuit” were only performed rarely. Here one can clearly notice the incredible confidence, security and technical abilities that these two prize-winners have reached despite their young age. [...] or Tellian’s convincing rendition of Ravel’s “Gaspard de la nuit” - probably one of the most difficult works for piano overall - or his captivating and inspired performance of Chopin’s third piano sonata - one can only listen, enjoy and wish these young artists all the best for their future. «

Badische Neueste Nachrichten

October 2021


» If one mentions the name Emmanuel Tjeknavorian (Violin) - Jeremias Fliedl (Violoncello) and Kiron Atom Tellian (Piano) should also be mentioned, as their performances are undoubtedly equal. [...] a trimphant finale: Tchaikovsky's "À la mémoire d'un grand artiste". After the pezzo elegiaco, moderato assai and allegro giusto followed. But what an allegro giusto! Their riveting performance was met with an incredibly long applause by the exuberant audience. There was no encore, this kind of emotional ending can not be improved upon. «

Kronen Zeitung

August 2021


» Moving on to larger Bach works, we heard selections from the French Suite in G major, BWV 816, played by Kiron Atom Tellian, age fourteen from Vienna, Austria (and also awarded in two repertoire categories). A student of Alma Sauer at the “highly gifted” program of the University for Music and Dramatic Art, he pairs piano with studies in composition, perhaps a source of the heightened thoughtfulness in his playing. He was one of the day’s most interesting musicians, with an individual style that brought to mind some of the earlier Bach performances of Ivo Pogorelich. His Allemande, Courante and Sarabande all had an expressiveness one most associates with Romanticism (as many felt about Rosalyn Tureck’s playing), and he played with a judicious use of agogics, some receding dynamics at climaxes, and some staggering of left and right hands at poignant harmonic points and trills. His Gigue was by contrast quite metrically straightforward, but a delight in its extremely fast and even execution, without losing the slightest detail. One looks forward to hearing this young man play again. «

New York Concert Review

October 2017


» Kiron Atom Tellian, which presented the breath-taking finale of the evening’s concert - with a fulminant rendition of the first and last movement of Chopin’s third piano sonata. His ability to play with incredibly nuanced colors and feelings, to connect virtuosity and intimate sensitivity, explosive drama, longing and singing melodies was extraordinary. «

Mittelbayrische Zeitung

May 2019


» [...] experienced with countless and beautiful compositional techniques. «

Salzburger Nachrichten

June 2016


 » Kiron Atom Tellian is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most talented pianists from Austria. «

Oberösterreichische Nachrichten

 May 2017