YerazArt Celebrates a Decade of Service to Armenia with Music and Flair
ARMENIA, ARTS, MASS. | NOVEMBER 10, 2016 1:06 PM
By Aram Arkun
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — YerazArt celebrated its tenth anniversary on October 23 with a concert titled “A Prelude to Our Future,” at the Longy School of Music’s Pickman Hall. It featured violinist Diana Adamyan, pianist Nara Avetisyan, trumpeter Daniel Melkonyan and tenor Tigran Ohanyan, all young and talented artists originally from Armenia, with Nuné Hakobyan as collaborative pianist. A cocktail reception followed at the Sheraton Commander Hotel.
Adamyan performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E major BMV 1006, Prelude, Rodion Shchedrin’s In the Style of Albéniz, and Aram Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 46, Allegro vivace. Adamyan, 16, currently studies at the Yerevan Tchaikovsky Special Music School, and from a young age has won numerous prizes in Armenia and Russia. She has performed extensively with the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia in France, Switzerland and Iran, and has performed in YerazArt’s 2013 annual concert. In April 2016, she was invited to join the prestigious International Music Academy of Liechtenstein on a scholarship and currently participates in the intensive music weeks and programs it offers.
Ohanyan sang Umberto Giordano’s Loris aria from “Fedora,” Giuseppe Verdi’s Alfredo aria from “La Traviata,” Giacomo Puccini’s Pinkerton aria from “Madame Butterfly,” and Armen Tigranyan’s Jivan Yar Jan from his “Anush” opera. Born in 1994 in Yerevan, Ohanyan received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Vocal Arts from Yerevan’s Komitas State Conservatory, where he studied with voice professor Rafael Hakobyants. He has performed in Armenia, Russia, Germany and the US, and made his opera debut in March 2016 as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Eduard Topchjan. Among his many prizes, in 2016, he won the Armenian President’s Prize, followed by the Special Prize at the 6th Galina Vishnevskaya International Competition in Moscow, Russia. In 2015, he won Special Prize as Most Promising Tenor at the Jazeps Vitols International Vocal Competition in Latvia. In 2012, he won Bronze Medal and Special Prize at the 7th Open Youth Delphic Games in Astana, Kazakhstan, and was later awarded a diploma at the 6th International Competition of Opera Singers in Saints Petersburg, Russia. In 2007, he won first prize at the Alexander Spendiaryan 2nd Young Musicians’ National Competition in Yerevan and first prize at the Veratsnund International Contest-Festival in Yerevan.
Avetisyan played Enrique Granados’ Goyesca No. 5, El Amor y La Muerte, Balada, and Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 in F minor, opus 52. Avetisyan is currently pursuing a double master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in solo and collaborative piano performance after receiving her bachelor’s degree at the same institute in 2014. The Anais Afeyan scholarship through YerazArt as well as several other Armenian scholarships assisted with her education at CIM. She has won numerous prizes, including first prize at the Grant Piano Competition in Sioux Falls in 2014, and others in Greece, Lithuania and Italy. She has performed recitals in Vienna, Munich, Geneva, London, Monaco, Sochi, Boston, Los Angeles, and many other venues.
Melkonyan performed an excerpt from Alexander Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto in A-flat minor, opus 94, Yuri Harutyunyan’s melody from the movie “The Merry Bus,” and Jean-Baptiste Arban’s Carnival of Venice. Born in 1999 into a family of musicians, Melkonyan entered the Yerevan Tchaikovsky Special Music School at the age of seven, and still studies there today. He won First Prize at the Veratsnund International Festival-Contest in Gyumri, Armenia in 2010 and 2014, First Prize at the Games of Navasard in Yerevan in 2013, and Special Prize as Audience Favorite at Harmony, the Second International Georgian=Armenian Friendship Festival. In 2013, Melkonyan was gifted a trumpet by YerazArt Foundation, and with the support of this organization he participated in the Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians in Moscow. He won third prize and was named a laureate. YerazArt also supported his participation in the concert of the Denis Matsuev Fund in Voronezh in 2015 called New Names of the CIS Countries.
Accompanist Hakobyan at present teaches at her private studio in Watertown and at the Concord-Carlisle Music School, and is the pianist for the NOR trio (with violinist Sargis Karapetyan and saxophonist Andrei Sobchenko). She completed her music education at the Sayat Nova Music School and the Tchaikovsky Music School in her native Armenia, and holds a master’s degree in Piano Performance and an Artist Diploma in Collaborative Piano from the Komitas State Conservatory. She has worked as an accompanist at the Boston Conservatory and Boston University SFA.
YerazArt Executive Board Chair Nicole Babikian Hajjar welcomed the audience members and served as the master of ceremonies. She provided an overview of the YerazArt programs. Hajjar thanked the YerazArt cofounders and her fellow board members. Among those who had helped organize the evening’s program were Roset Atinizian, Margarit Belorian, Piruz Bogossian, Marlene Fereshetian and Ani Stepanian.
The YerazArt Executive Board includes Anna Afeyan, Nina Festekjian, Vahe Ghahraman, Sargis Karapetyan, Seza Seraderian, Arlette Yegumians and Sylvie Zakarian.
The performances were enthusiastically received by the audience, which afterwards had the interesting opportunity to meet the performers and socialize at the reception. Later, Hajjar declared the following about the occasion: “We were pleased to see many of our community members and supporters share this milestone celebration with us. We heard multiple compliments about the artists’ performance and overall quality of the event, but particularly gratifying were the praises we received for YerazArt’s important work and mission.”
YerazArt was founded in 2006 in Boston by Noubar Afeyan and Raffi Festekjian as a charitable foundation with a mission “to nurture, support and promote young and talented artists from Armenia.” It began with annual concert tours in the US and Canada of young artists from Armenia. In 2011, an Instrument Donation Program was founded, while in 2016 YerazArt’s Yerevan Summer Music School (SMS) was initiated. It is a collaboration with the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) of Armenia and the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra (ANPO), and offers young Armenian musicians the opportunity to learn from experienced orchestral talents.
Over the course of ten years, YerazArt supported close to 150 students, and another 100 through partnerships with the ANPO, AGBU, Atken Foundation and Sistema Armenia. Thirty young musicians from Armenia have performed on five YerazArt North American concert tours during this decade. Visiting Armenian artists have been able to learn from respected teachers at the New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, and other major institutions. Its scholarships allow musicians from Armenia to attend competitions, master classes and other educational programs abroad.
YerazArt has donated more than 100 instruments since 2011 to music schools in Yerevan and remote districts of the Republic of Armenia. At least 10 teachers annually receive a stipend to teach and give master classes in Armenia. Today the Instrument Donation Program focuses on woodwind and brass instruments which are scarce in Armenia.
YERAZART LAUNCHED A NEW EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM IN ARMENIA
On June 27th, YerazArt Foundation launched its Summer Music School (SMS) in Yerevan (Armenia), in collaboration with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra (ANPO) and Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
The School’s objective is to give students of Armenian descent, aged 14+, the opportunity to learn from the best Armenian orchestra musicians as well as a platform where they can be spotted for future possible engagement with the ANPO.
YerazArt SMS offers lessons in the following orchestra professions: oboe, bassoon, French horn, flute, trumpet, trombone and clarinet. Classes will be held at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall rehearsal rooms, at AGBU's new concert hall and Sayat-Nova Music School Auditorium. The School offers two sessions:
- June 27 through July 6 - for locals only
- July 13 through 21 - for participants from abroad
For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/Armenian.Philharmonic.Orchestra or call: +(374 91) 432480
|Maria Sardaryan (27, soprano)
Wins First Prize at Grandi Voci Competition 2016 held in Salzburg, Austria from 22th to 27th of August.
|Ani Bostanchyan (14, piano)
Places Fourth Overall at “Merci, Maestro!” International Competition for Young Pianists held in Brussels (Belgium) in April 2016.
A student at Spendiaryan Music School, Bostanchyan made it to the final round of this challenging competition.
|Daniel Melkonyan (16, trumpet)
Among Finalists at Yamaha International Competition held in United Arab Emirates (Dubai) in February 2016
A student at Tchaikovsky Special Music School, Melkonyan was among the top five finalists at this competition. He is scheduled to appear at the 10 Years of YerazArt celebratory concert, A Prelude to Our Future, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts on October 23, 2016.
|Astghik Ghukasyan (17, piano)
Wins Third Prize at "Clavi Cologne” International Piano Competition held from 11 to 19.03.2016 in Aachen, Germany.
A student at Tchaikovsky Special Music School, Ghukasyan was later invited to participate in the master-classes session with a famous Georgian pianist Alexander Toradze at the Dilijan House of Composers after Edvard Mirzoyan.
YerazArt Fellow Vardan Gasparyan (27, cello)
Receives the American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music Diploma of Recognition for
extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music and presenting students who
performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on March 12, 2016.
YerazArt Fellow Nara Avetisyan (24, piano)
Wins First Prize at Cleveland Institute of Music Spring Concerto Competition 2016 held in Ohio (USA).
Nara was subsequently selected to perform at Severance Hall with the CIM orchestra. She was also the recipient of the Sergei Babayan Prize in Piano this year, a much-coveted prize previously won by two pianists only, one of them being Daniil Trifonov. Avetisyan got accepted at the prestigious Pianofest in Hamptons, New York on a full scholarship. This summer festival offers exceptionally concentrated study to a small group of pianists selected by audition.
YerazArt Fellow Diana Adamyan (16, violin)
Successfully Auditions with World-Famous Teacher Ana Chumachenko in April 2016 in Munich (Germany).
A student at Tchaikovsky Special Music School, Diana subsequently received a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates regularly in the intensive music weeks and activities offered by the International Music Academy.”
Tigran Ohanyan (21, tenor)
Awarded Special Prize at VI Galina Vishnevskaya International Opera Singers Competition held in Moscow (Russia) in June 2016. Ohanyan also performed at the Festive Concert dedicated to the Apostolic visit of His Highness Pope Francis to Yerevan on June 25. Ohanyan is scheduled to appear at the 10 Years of YerazArt celebratory concert, A Prelude to Our Future, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts on October 23, 2016.
YerazArt Donates Instruments Within its Instrument Donation Program (IDP) 2016
This year, YerazArt pursued its effort to support disciplines that are endangered for lack of adequate instruments by donating instruments to select music schools. In this context, a clarinet was donated to Avet Gabrielyan Music School (Yerevan), a bassoon to Sayat Nova Music School and an oboe to Sarian Special Music School.
Armenian Mirror Spectator
YERAZART CELEBRATES MUSIC WITH CONCERT AND RECEPTION
ARTS, BOSTON, COMMUNITY, NEW ENGLAND | OCTOBER 15, 2015 4:22 PM
By Alin K. Gregorian
WINCHESTER, Mass. — The volunteers of YerazArt put together yet another elegant soirée on October 3 to raise funds for young musicians in Armenia. This year the event was held at the home of Raffi and Nina Festekjian. This was the second time they hosted a YerazArt reception.
Around 100 guests were present and almost $50,000 was raised for YerazArt’s Instrument Donation Program, as well as other educational initiatives, including funding for young musicians to attend master classes and participate in international competitions.
The featured guest musician was clarinetist Narek Arutyunian. He was born in Gumri, Armenia in 1992 and moved to Moscow at a young age. He graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory and is currently a student at the Juilliard School in New York. He has won numerous prizes, including first prize in the International Young Musicians Competition in Prague and the Musical Youth of the Planet Competition in Moscow.
He has performed extensively across the United States, in Australia, Asia, and in Europe, where he appeared at the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo del Principe in Genoa, among other places.
According to YerazArt board member chair Nicole Babikian Hajjar, some schools receiving aid are in Yerevan (Tchaikovsky, Sayat Nova and Jrbashyan – 400 students) while others are in remote areas (Gumri School No 4 -171 students and No 5- 184 students).
“Our main focus remains on what we call rare instruments, mainly woodwind and brass — clarinet, trumpet, flute, trombone, French horn — disciplines that are endangered in Armenia for lack of available instruments,” she said.
She also stressed that the group seeks out rural schools as Yerevan often gets more attention.
“It takes a vast amount of resources on our part to fulfill our commitment to the many young and talented musicians of Armenia: we currently have an annual operating budget of $30,000 for our activities and operations in Armenia. With one person only on our pay-roll, our Armenia Director Arman Padaryan, a major part of the work gets done here in Boston, thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers- my fellow Board members- that I would like to acknowledge and thank tonight: Anna Afeyan, Nina Festekjian, Vahe Ghahraman, Christine Kahvejian, Sargis Karapetyan, Seza Seraderian, Arlette Yegumians and Sylvie Zakarian,” she said in her comments.
She also paid special tribute to YerazArt co-founders and continuous supporters Raffi Festekjian and Noubar Afeyan.
Hajjar was thrilled with the gathering, adding “it was a record attendance,” and expressed her pleasure that the annual fundraiser has become “a signature event” in the Boston area.
Next year, she promised said the format would be different in order to pay tribute to the group’s 10th anniversary.
In his comments, Festekjian said, “In my personal view, it is all about culture for us as a people. Without classical music, what do we have?”
Through the music, he said, Armenians can communicate who they are to the world as well help maintain and nurture that culture in Armenia. He thanked those assembled for their support.
Hajjar said that the students who have either performed for the galas or who have been given aid in the past have all gone on to win awards internationally.
But of course, everyone had gathered to hear the evening’s guest artist, Narek Arutyunian — and he did not disappoint.
Arutyunian thrilled those assembled with his incredible musical skills as well as his ease and charm. He explained how he became a clarinetist, thanks to his father’s playing of folk melodies on the clarinet at weddings and his mother’s love of classical music. His mother, he said, bought him a copy of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto when he was 10 and, he said, he was “mesmerized.”
He thanked YerazArt and the audience, adding, “No words can say how grateful I am [for your work] and I hope you continue.”
Arutyunian performed a variety of pieces, including Spanish Capriccio for Clarinet by Ernesto Cavalli, Fantasy for Piano and Clarinet by Schumann and the third movement from Trio for Violin, Piano and Clarinet by Aram Khachaturian as well as a piece for violin by Pablo Sarasate which he had arranged and transcribed for the clarinet himself.
He left himself and the audience breathless and received a standing ovation.
Nune Hakobyan, his accompanist on the piano who kept up with him flawlessly, deflected any praise directed at her, adding, “With a musician like this, you get even more motivated and engaged. You have to breathe with him.”
Sylvie Zakarian Meguerditchian was delighted with the performance. “I think it was amazing. I thought it was the highest level of artistry. With his enthusiasm he was able to take his audience with him.”
Another guest, Armineh Mirzabegian, said, “Music unites people. Plus I had heard him play before and wanted to see him play in a more intimate setting.”
Raffi Festekjian said, “He is a fantastic talent. It is the kind of talent we want to encourage.”
Since its inception almost a decade ago, YerazArt Foundation has been identifying young, talented musicians from Armenia and assisting them with reaching their full artistic potential. YerazArt programs offer professional development opportunities and financial assistance to musicians to participate in master classes and international competitions. Through YerazArt’s Advisory Board, young Armenian talents gain access to an extensive support network of music professionals and academia, in Armenia and abroad, which provides mentoring, career counseling, and admission opportunities to the best music programs worldwide. Over the last few years, YerazArt has also instituted a successful Instrument Donation Program, both in Yerevan and in remote areas, with a primary focus on disciplines and instruments that are in danger of extinction such as the woodwind and brass instruments.
For more information about the Yerazart Foundation and its programs, visit www.yerazart.org.
Arutyunian has performed the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall as well as Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet with The Boston Pops. Mr. Arutyunian has also appeared as soloist with the Meridian Symphony, the Albany Symphony, and the Longwood Symphony. He has performed recitals at the Morgan Library and Museum, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, the Lied Center of Kansas, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the Westport Arts Center, the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Music for Youth, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, to name a few.
Arutyunian has performed extensively in Australia, Asia, and in Europe, where he appeared at the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo del Principe in Genoa, among others. Born in 1992 in Gyumri, Armenia, Arutyunian graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory. By the age of 16, he had already won First Prizes in the International Young Musicians Competition in Prague and the Musical Youth of the Planet Competition in Moscow. A winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals at Merkin Concert Hall and the Kennedy Center to rave reviews. Arutyunian’s growing career has also included numerous educational outreach programs in New York City public schools and around the country. He lives in New York City, and works with Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School.
YerazArt Fellow, 24-year-old violinist Hrayr Karapetyan, won Grand Prix at the 1st International Music Competition Triomphede l’Art held in Brussels (Belgium) held from August 24 to 30, 2015.
He is a student at the Leuven Conservatory of Music (LUCA) in Belgium. Hrayr was a participant in the YerazArt North American Concert Tour in 2009.
Harutyun Melikyan - 10 years old - awarded 2nd prize in the Infantile Category at the Maria Herrero Piano Competition held in Granada (Spain) from July 20 to 24, 2015.
Harutyun is a student at Jrbashyan Music School in Yerevan.
YerazArt Fellow, 22-year-old soprano Mane Galoyan, awarded Bronze in the Voice Category at the 15th Annual International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow on July 1, 2015
Mane Galoyan received her bachelor’s degree at the Yerevan State Komitas Conservatory in the class of Prof. Susanna Martirosyan (2014). In 2009 she won at the Renaissance International Contest-Festival in Gyumri (Armenia). In 2013 she won a gold medal at the 7th Youth Delphic Games in Kazakhstan, was awarded the Presidential Prize of Armenia, and came in second at the 6th International Competition of Opera Singers “Saint Petersburg”. In 2014 the singer was selected to join the Young Artists Vocal Academy at the Houston Grand Opera. That same year she won a prize at the 33rd International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Dusseldorf. She also won the 7th Bibigul Tulegenova International Vocal Competition in Astana (Kazakhstan) and received fourth prize at the 6th China International Voice Competition in Ningbo. In 2015 she won the 27th Concert of Arias: Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Opera Singers at the Houston Grand Opera.
YerazArt Fellow, 15-year-old violin prodigy Diana Adamyan, to perform at a concert dedicated to the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial in London on July 21, 2015
YerazArt Fellow, 15-year-old violin prodigy Diana Adamyan, was invited to perform with Maestro Pinchas Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert dedicated to the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial in London on July 21, 2015. In addition, for the second year in a row, Diana has been invited to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada where she will attend their Young Artists Program in June. Last year, Diana participated on a full scholarship at the 16th Annual National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute, Young Artists Program, where she worked with Maestro Pinchas Zukerman, Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, along with 70 other gifted students from Canada and abroad who were all chosen through a highly competitive selection process.
YerazArt Fellow Mane Galoyan - Wins First Prize at Houston Grand Opera Concert of Arias Competition (February 2015)
YerazArt Fellow, 21-year-old soprano Mane Galoyan, was awarded the first place prize of $10,000 at the 27th Annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers on February 5, at the Houston Grand Opera (Texas).
Galoyan was the featured artist at the YerazArt Foundation’s Annual Benefit Event this past fall in Belmont, Massachusetts. Earlier in 2014, with support from YerazArt, Mane participated in two international competitions: one in Kazakhstan (7th International Singing Competition after Bibigul Telegenova, September 2014), where she also won First Prize, and more recently in China (Fifth China International Vocal Competition Ningbo, November 2014), where she ranked 4th.
Mane’s connection to YerazArt dates back to 2009, when she was invited to take part in the YerazArt North American Concert Tour in the fall of that year.
Daniel Melkonyan Wins Bronze Nutcracker in Moscow (December 2014)
15-year-old trumpet player Daniel Melkonyan was awarded the Bronze Nutcracker, claiming Third Place at the 15th Annual International Nutcracker TV Contest for Young Musicians held in December 2014, in Moscow. This year 49 young musicians had applied to participate in the wind instruments category. Out of 19 trumpeters, only two were chosen to participate – from Russia and Armenia. This is the first time in the competition’s history that an Armenian wind instrumentalist is awarded a prize. Melkonyan has recently been invited to participate at the New Names of CIS Countries Concert to be held in March 2015 in Voronezh - the city named as the cultural capital of Russia in 2015.
Through our Instrument Donation Program, YerazArt provided new instruments, including a trumpet, to Melkonyan’s school - the Tchaikovsky Special Music School Yerevan in 2013. In addition YerazArt facilitated Daniel's participation in the Nutcracker competition and the upcoming New names of CIS Countries Concert through our Professional Development Program.
Violin Prodigy Diana Adamyan Invited to attend Pinchas Zukerman Young Artists Program in Canada (June 2014)
YerazArt Fellow and 14-year-old violin prodigy Diana Adamyan has been invited to participate on a full scholarship at the 16th Annual National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute, Young Artists Program to be held in Ottawa, Canada, in June.
Diana will be working with Maestro Pinchas Zukerman, Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, along with 70 other gifted students from Canada and abroad who were all chosen through a highly competitive selection process.
Adamyan is the 2012 winner of the Silver Nutcracker Award, at the prestigious Nutcracker International TV contest for Young Musicians, annually held in Moscow. In 2013, she was invited to perform to a mesmerized crowd at the YerazArt annual benefit held in Massachusetts (USA).
Tigran Ohanyan (21, tenor) Awarded Special Prize at VI Galina Vishnevskaya International Opera Singers Competition held in Moscow (Russia) in June 2016
Ohanyan also performed at the Festive Concert dedicated to the Apostolic visit of His Highness Pope Francis to Yerevan on June 25.Ohanyan is scheduled to appear at the 10 Years of YerazArt celebratory concert, A Prelude to Our Future, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts on October 23, 2016.