The Phoenix Symphony is excited to announce we are upgrading to a new, easy-to-use ticketing system. During this transition, our TICKETING SYSTEM IS DOWN September 11, 12, 13, and 14. Our new ticketing system will be live on September 15. Sorry for any inconvenience. Feel free to browse our performances in the meantime.

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A Musician’s Perspective — Community Engagement

February 22, 2024

By Levon Zarasian, First Violin


For many, music is another language used to communicate emotions and messages that words are not always able to convey. I think sometimes we forget what the power of music truly means, and how impactful it can be. For the past ten years, my colleagues and I have been spreading the joy of music throughout the Valley. Some places I have most enjoyed playing were homeless shelters, memory care facilities and juvenile detention centers.

Just six months ago, I was performing at Friendship Village, when I was reminded of a story about my late mother. On this day, I was with four of my colleagues ready to play various composers and music genres. Halfway through every performance, we introduce ourselves.

I always introduce myself as “Levon Zarasian, an American Armenian who was born overseas but has been in the States since 1977. I moved to Phoenix in 1986 after getting my master’s degree at Southern Methodist University.” Immediately after introducing myself, a kind resident raised her hand and asked, “Excuse me, were you with your mother when she had cataract surgery?”

I was immediately taken aback, as this had taken place over twenty years ago. After confirming this possibility, she stated, “I remember your mother because she was such a nice lady with a broken accent. She was very proud of you, and that you were a violinist with the Phoenix Symphony.”

While writing this, I’m reflecting on how I felt at that moment and the excitement of coming home to tell my wife and daughter about this interaction. It felt very special that someone would remember sitting in a doctor’s office for a cataract appointment and surreal to believe that she would remember my immigrant mother, her pride in her son being a member of the Phoenix Symphony, and how music continues to connect us so many years later.

It is wonderful that my mother has continued to live through stories, even three years after her passing. This experience has motivated me and allowed me to reflect on how much music inspires others. As long as I continue to play, I hope to continue reaching others and creating new memories with the Phoenix Symphony, through the instrument, and the music I love.









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