Armenian News Network / Groong August 7, 2006 Entertainment Wire by Sahan Arzruni New York, New York During a single weekend in early August, two very young fellows won over New York music-lovers, while filling Armenian hearts with unbound pride. The pair, both born in Yerevan in 1985, were violinist Sergey Khachatryan, performing at Avery Fisher Hall, and composer Tigran Ayvazyan, who had a composition featured at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Friday, August 4 marked the New York debut of 21-year-old Sergey Khachatryan, who performed a staple of the violin repertoire, Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra under the baton of Finnish conductor Osmo VÃ¤nskÃ¤. An artist of captivating individuality and remarkable talent, Mr. Khachatryan has been collecting prizes in international competitions since he was 15 years old, including first prizes in the Jean Sibelius (2000) and Queen Elisabeth (2005) competitions. The most striking quality of Khachatryan's violin playing is his `connectivity'--a connectivity to himself, to the music, and to his violin. As he plays, musical phrases meld into each other seamlessly, and instrumental sections naturally fall into place; the music unfolds effortlessly--as if he were composing on the spot. Mr. Khachatryan seems conjoined to his instrument, with the violin becoming an extension of his spiritual essence. In performance he becomes intimately connected to the composer, becoming a `creator' in his own right. Sergey Khachatryan has a magnetic stage personality, a highly distinctive voice, and a straightforward performance style. The tone of his violin (a Stradivarius, on loan) is tightly focused and far reaching: it utters the most amazing trills--evenly spaced, carefully measured, perfectly nuanced--under Khachatryan's masterful bow. In both cadenzas of the Concerto, he executed the contrapuntal lines with marvelous transparency and cohesion; it was as if two violins were performing independently, each executing a separate melodic line. As an encore, Mr. Khachatryan performed a movement from Bach's solo violin sonatas. The balance of the program was filled with Mozart's `Haffner' Symphony, and Swiss composer Frank Martin's `Overture in Hommage to Mozart.' Mark these words: This young artist is an absolute wizard of the violin, and destined to become one of the great violinists of our time. The same weekend was doubly rich, for on Sunday, August 6, MoMA's Summergarden Concert Series, held in the museum's outdoor sculpture garden, featured music composed by another talented native of Yerevan: Tigran Ayvazyan. Ayvazian's String Quartet was performed by violinists Keats Dieffenbach and David Fulmer, violist Eric Nowlin, and cellist Eric Jacobsen. It is a tightly woven work, comprised of several segments, with intriguing textures introduced throughout. Wailing glissandi, folksy lyrical motives, rapturous dance rhythms, and a turbulent closing are cleverly and deftly interwoven. The composition earned Ayvazyan a first prize during the Aram Khachaturian Centennial in 2003. Currently a student at Yerevan's Komitas State Conservatory, Tigran Ayvazyan promises a bright future as a composer. The MoMA summer program, presented under the direction of Joel Sachs, also included premieres by Israeli Ben-Zion Orgad, Australian Carl Vine, New Zealander John Psathas, German Lera Auerback, and American Elliott Sharp. Considering the quality of these two 21-year-old musicians, 1985 seems to have been an excellent vintage year for the Armenian musical arts. -- Master pianist Sahan Arzruni enjoys an international carreer, known also as a composer, ethnomusicologist, producer, teacher, lecturer, writer, recording artist and broadcasting personality
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