Armenian News Network / Groong


Armenian News Network / Groong
December 6, 2012
Entertainment Wire

By Sahan Arzruni


A musical event showcasing twelve promising young Armenian artists
went up at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on December 1, 2012. It
was the latest entry in an annual series of concerts presented by the
Armenian General Benevolent Union's New York Special Events Committee.

The gifted young people presented on Saturday evening-all of whom are
recipients of AGBU scholarships-included Tatevik Ayazyan, violinist;
Armine Chamasyan, violinist; Anoush Simonian, violist; Vardan
Gasparyan, cellist; Gurgen Simonyan, clarinetist; Tatevik
Khoja-Eynatyan, marimba player; Garineh Avakian, vocalist; Tanya
Gabrielian, pianist; Sofya Melikyan, pianist; Hayk Arsenyan, pianist
and composer; Artur Akshelyan, composer; and Vahram Sargsyan,

The program, skillfully put together by Hayk Arsenian and Sofya
Melikyan, honored the 300th anniversary of the birth of Sayat Nova,
the great Armenian troubadour. The milestone is being promoted by
UNESCO, and the AGBU concert paid tribute to his undying legacy by
presenting Sayat Nova's music in its traditional form and modern

(A passing note: Among the scholars disputing this dating of Sayat
Nova's birth is Dr. Henrik Bakhchinian, former director of the
Charentz State Museum of Literature and Art in Yerevan. A video
discussion of the topic appears on YouTube, at

In addition to works by the aforementioned composers, the concert
featured compositions by Tigran Mansurian, Alexander Arutiunian,
Piazzolla, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, and Schumann.

Marimba player Tatevik Khoja-Eynatian was perhaps the most promising
performer of the evening, whose deft handling of that exotic keyboard
brought out the woody resonance of this percussion instrument to
excellent effect.

Cellist Vardan Gasparyan drew a warm sound from his instrument,
blending beautifully into the ensemble in the Schumann Quintet.

Pianist Hayk Arsenian impressed me with his delicate fingerwork in the
Dvorak Quartet. His seemingly improvisatory composition, Poem, was at
times reminiscent of Rachmaninoff.

Arthur Akshelyan's arrangement of Ashkharums akh chim kashi suggested
a Sayat Nova melody deconstructed into a binary pattern of
authenticity versus inauthenticity.

In Hunting the Hunter, composer Vahram Sargsyan concealed nuggets from
the Armenian bard's songs in an otherwise discursive musical roadmap.

Mezzo-soprano Garineh Avakian concluded the program by singing three
traditional Sayat Nova melodies with assurance.

The concert left one satisfied to witness such a fine crop of young
Armenians, who have been given an opportunity by AGBU to present their
talent in such a prestigious venue.

Master pianist Sahan Arzruni enjoys an international career, and is
also known as a composer, ethnomusicologist, producer, teacher,
lecturer, writer, recording artist and broadcasting personality.

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