Levon Chilingirian was born in Cyprus to Armenian parents. The Chilingirian family emigrated to London in 1960 where Levon studied the violin, later attending the Royal College of Music. His early influences in music were his uncle, the violinist Manoug Parikian, his teacher Hugh Bean, musicologist Hans Keller, and the Amadeus Quartet.
In 1971, Levon founded the Chilingirian Quartet with cellist Philip De Groote. Today, the Quartet is one of the most active and celebrated string quartets on the international scene with tours to over fifty countries on six continents. The Chilingirian Quartet coaches young quartets around the world at festivals, residencies and masterclasses. They have made regular visits to Venezuela to coach chamber music with El Sistema at the invitation of Maestro Antonio Abreu.
Levon also performs regularly as a soloist. He performed the Sinfonia Concertante on the Amadeus soundtrack with Sir Neville Marriner and was invited by Steven Isserlis to lead a performance of the Schubert Quintet to end the millennium’s music at Wigmore Hall. He has been the artistic director and first violin of the Camerata Nordica in Sweden and is also the artistic director of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival and of the Pharos Festival in Cyprus.
Levon gave the String Master Class for the BBC TV’s Young Musician of the Year. He received the Cobbett Medal and, in January 2000, an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List.
Levon is professor of violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester), and the Royal Academy of Music (London). He gives master classes regularly at Longy School of Music (Cambridge, MA), the New England Conservatory (Boston, MA) and the Boston Conservatory of Music.