How is Armenian music perceived in the world today? How is Armenian music presented in the world? At this present time, how successful are Armenian musicians? What should be the future of Armenian music?
Armenian music is used as a vehicle for presenting Armenian culture. Music can be analyzed as a component of an overall cultural strategy. Also considered is the interrelationship between music and education. These themes and others are presented in a live discussion on the show. The show features well-known Armenian composers and performers.
Rossini's opera Cinderella was performed in Armenia for the first time. That day, this faity tale was presented at the Spendiaryan National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet by the theater's young singers, choir, orchestra, and conductor Zaven Vardanyan. "Today, adults also need fairy tales. Fairy tales give us hope," says our guest, Zaven Vardanyan. During the talk, some parts of Opera Cinderella are presented performed by the singers of Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
The Art Cinema ensemble was founded in 2010. It is the world's only ensemble whose repertoire consists exclusively of cinema music. Its musicians not just play the program but create a new high-quality tradition in the contemporary performing arts through their own transcriptions, arrangements, and interpretations.
The members of the ensemble are Ashot Khoyetsyan, 1st violin, Hayk Vardanyan, 2nd violin, Levon Arakelyan, cello, Karen Sarafyan, piano.
- Today we host Art Cinema's violinists.
Singer, educator Shake Makaryan has lived an interesting life. She was born in Iran, carried out activities there, and studied in Italy. In recent years, a big part of her life is connected with Armenia. She conveys to us some episodes from the cultural life of Iranian Armenians. The occasion for this broadcast is Araks Makaryan's (our guest's mother) book "Memories Turned into Ashes," which helps to reflect even on already forgotten events and feelings. "Our greatest desire was to come to the Fatherland in order to see with our own eyes what our older generation always told," confesses our guest.
Petros Shuzhunyan lives far from Armenia. But his creative imagination is constantly feeding on the culture of his Fatherland, especially on Armenian spiritual music. "The wonderful feeling of knowing the spiritual reality started in me from an early age when I sang in a church choir," confesses the Canada-based composer. Thanks to him, Montreal became one of the places on the world map that hosted events dedicated to the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.
The first project of the Cultural Renaissance Foundation under the motto "Preserving the National Identity" is a necessary example of speaking out about uniting scholarly and creative forces. "It was necessary to create an Internet encyclopedia where anyone can see, listen to and read what is hidden in our repositories," says our guest, music editor of the project "Armenian National Music Treasury," musicologist Lilit Harutyunyan.
She is the founder and executive director of three festivals and has been investing all her strength and knowledge into helping the culture of her homeland. London-based Hasmik Movsisian never feels herself far from Armenia and after the birth of the «Music of Armenia» organization she has constantly been in Armenia.
Each Yerevan performance of the France-based singer, conductor and teacher Suren Shahijanian is a glee from encountering with a high performance art. Such is also his speech: wise and deep, just as his bass voice. Our guest confesses that he couldn't be a baritone or tenor singer.
The Arutiunian Woodwind-Piano Quartet was created in 2015. In this quartet's performance, opera, ballet and symphonic music pieces sound with an unusual combination of instruments, by flute, clarinet, bassoon, and piano. We're talking with the members of the quartet about their concerts, tours, and the new CD.
- Gevorg Avetisyan, Davit Gyulamiryan, Nikolay Poghosyan, Lilit Zakaryan
Soloist in the youth opera program Siranush Galstyan performed on stage for the first time in the image of Tosca. This story began at Gegham Grigoryan's advice and was confirmed with the Catholicos's blessing. Let's hope that for the singer who has a long experience of performing in concerts, a new life for living roles on stage is awaiting ahead.
Power, energy, enthusiasm, and organization: such qualities are peculiar to the eldest children of the contemporary Armenian culture—the choir "Little Singers of Armenia," one of the greatest achievements of our independence. Their concert tours in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland have opened an important page in diplomatic culture. Our guest is the founder and chief conductor of the choir Tigran Hekekyan.
Nare Karoyan is a representative of the new generation of pianists. She was born in a family that has contributed to Armenian modern fine arts. She studied under contemporary pioneers in the field of French, German, and Austrian pedagogy. That European path began from Pascal Devoyon's class.
It's been four years now that Tsirani, an ensemble representing the golden mean of national instruments and Armenian musicians, has existed. Here the core instrument is duduk that is made of apricot wood and is the musical instrument most resembling human voice. Who waters Tsirani and how it sounds will be told by our guests, Artak Asatryan, duduk player and artistic director of the ensemble, and singer Eka Horstka.
Nikol Galanteryan's songs have started to live a new life. They have got such rebirth thanks to the dedication of faithfully serving musician, pianist Margarit Sargsyan. Certain directions in the composer's vocal works show how Armenian romances could later develop. "I am able to hear in these songs the songs of the later period, those of Aleksay Hekimyan, Khachatur Avetisyan, and Arno Babajanyan," says our guest.
The talk with Daniel Yerazhisht on the occasion of his 70th anniversary became a meeting with a whole cultural era. The names of Tatyana Hayrapetyan, Jan Ter-Merkerian, Robert Atayan, Mikayel Maluntsyan, Davit Khanjyan, and Robert Rozhdestvensky stand out in the great course of his life. “My teachers showed the way to the kingdom of music,” says Daniel Yerazhisht.
On the initiative and by the personal efforts of America-based baritone Tigran Zhamkochyan, Armenian music has sounded abroad since the 1960s. He has always enjoyed the opportunity to represent things related to Armenia, whether it was a reception by the American president or Turkey's ambassador: "I love movement. I want to be useful for my people."
For Alexander Spendiaryan, the roads bringing him to Armenia were the bright names of the history of Armenian culture as well as his contemporaries: Hovhannes Ayvazovski, Vardges Surenyants, Nikoghayos Tigranyan, Romanos Melikyan, Spiridon Melikyan, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Sheram, and others. Tigran Sargsyan, chief fund curator of the Spendiaryan House-Museum, tells the stories of those known and unknown meetings.
Kamilla Yerkanyan and Armine Abajyan... offsprings of musicians' families, pianists with different, restless and dreamy, characters, who represent the Kamar (meaning "arch" in Armenian) Duo. Today they are respected pedagogues at Beirut Conservatory. After their first concert in Armenia, they are the guests of our program. During our conversation you can listen to compositions by Mirzoyan, Khachaturian, Mozart, and Schubert.
The conversation with Zaven Vardanyan is about an arts worker with an unacceptable type. Our talk is seasoned with citations that have the power of credo: “You should live your life without thinking where you will be given a place: in the Komitas Pantheon or in the City Pantheon.” One more: “It is beautiful when our life passes by giving more than receiving and with the desire to perfect what is imperfect.”
America-based composer Tatev Amiryan and famous pianist Hayk Melikyan released their first joint CD titled "Ortus." This young composer grew up listening to Komitas' songs that her mother sang. It is very important for her that her audience might take part in her art and listen to her music. "I saw Hayk when he was playing my music... Hayk opened a new window into my world," confesses Tatev.
Prior to Alexander Spendiaryan, no one had thought of creating an orchestra in Armenia. “The Yerevan of the 1920s was like the Weimar of the Romance period when notable musicians started to act. In Armenia, one of those “romanticists” was Alexander Spendiaryan. He came to the Fatherland with a great devotion and created serious cultural values” -- the words of writer, publicist Marieta Shahinyan are quoted by our guest, the chief fund curator of the Spendiaryan House-Museum Tigran Sargsyan, who adds that one of those values was the first Armenian orchestra.