Friday, 22 May 2015

Armenian News... A Topalian... Washington Centennial Concert

USA Washington DC Centennial Concert 

Special rendition of Giligia
with a galaxy of world-class Armenian musicians and the Hover Choir
including our Levon Chilingirian and Alexander Chaushian
project managed by our Susan Pattie amongst all the other national commemorations 
Azerbaijani and Turkish lobby's attempts to prevent Armenian cultural
programs abroad have failed
by Karina Manukyan
Saturday, May 16, 15:40

Azerbaijani and Turkish lobby's attempts to prevent Armenian cultural
programs abroad have failed.

As Armenia marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman
Turkey in 1915, various events timed to that tragedy are held
worldwide this year. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Turkey try their best
to somehow impede the Armenian cultural programs and events abroad.

"We have already got used to fight. For instance, Turkey and
Azerbaijan lease concert halls for the same day and in the same town
where Armenia plans to hold a concert. This is an attempt to somehow
distract the attention of the world community from the Armenian
Genocide centennial," Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan told reporters
on May 16.

One of the remarkable events for Armenia this year was the Golden Lion
the Armenian Pavilion won at the 56th Biennale di Venezia for forming
a pavilion based on a people in Diaspora.

"Meanwhile, those days Venezia was flooded with posters advertising
Azerbaijan.  The Azerbaijani government spent huge funds for that.
One thing is for sure: art always wins. Our success at Biennale di
Venezia proved that," the minister said.  Another measure of pressure
on Armenia for Azerbaijan and Turkey is UNESCO. Every time Armenia
makes an application to UNESCO, these countries exert genuine efforts
to press UNESCO.  Last year, Azerbaijan tried its best to introduce
the Armenian lavash as traditional Azerbaijani bread. Meanwhile, it
was included into the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
of Humanity as Armenian national bread.

This year, Armenia applied for inclusion of the National Dance Kochari
into the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
as a universal value.

Earlier, Turkish lobby tried to prevent the Armenian project "With
You, Armenia!" that brought together world musicians to commemorate
the Armenian Genocide Centennial. On the eve of the concert in
Brussels the administration of the concert hall was press to remove
the word Genocide from the posters, booklets and concert programs.
Nevertheless, the concert took place on April 26. 

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
May 18 2015

Almost a month has passed since April 24, the date that marked the
100th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian tragedy.

No one is talking about it in Turkey any more. Naturally, it is no
longer on the world's agenda. But I am sure that both in Yerevan
and Ankara a general assessment is being made about this important
turning point.

One thing is for sure: Turkey was caught at a time when it is not
enjoying a particularly bright image internationally. Despite this,
April 24 passed leaving behind minimum damage as far as Turkey's
bilateral relations are concerned.

However, it seems that Turkey remains particularly resentful of
two international actors. One of these is the Vatican and the other
is Germany.

The Pope's reference to the Armenian tragedy as "the first genocide
of the 20th century" came as a shock to Turkey, as diplomatic
representatives of the Holy See had assured to the very last minute
that Pope Francis would refrain from using the "G word."

In fact, the Turkish ambassador to the Vatican had even been
scheduled to attend a mass to commemorate the 100th anniversary
of the tragedy, in the expectation that Pope Francis would talk of
"shared grievances." What would have been a diplomatic embarrassment
was averted, as at the last minute the Turkish envoy did not go,
after he was informed about the Pope's intention. The ambassador,
who was recalled to Ankara for consultations, will not return to the
Vatican until at least the end of the summer.

Ankara believes that Pope Francis's statement had a multiplier effect
throughout the world. The Pope's statement was followed by decisions
from the parliaments of Luxembourg and Austria, which recognized the
killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during World
War I as genocide.

Germany's stance, on the other hand, while it was not anticipated,
did not come as a huge surprise. Ankara believes that Germany is an
active behind-the-scenes actor to promote the view that the Armenian
tragedy is the first genocide of the 20th century. Several projects
aimed at proving that the Armenian massacres amounted to genocide,
supported and financed by the German institutions, seem to have
strengthened views among Turkish officials that Germany is seeking
to relativize the Holocaust.

German President Joachim Gauck used the "G word" at a religious
ceremony held at the Berlin Cathedral. Beyond this, the Turkish side
seems to be very concerned about German initiatives to include this
issue in the curriculum in a way that will also affect the children
of Turks living in Germany.

Turkey's homework continues

No doubt, Armenia and the Armenian diaspora will continue their
recognition efforts, and Turkey will remain vigilant to counter these
efforts. But what is important is that this dossier is no longer
limited at the diplomatic level to "counter-recognition efforts."

Ankara seems to remain dedicated to continuing to seek dialogue with
the Armenian diaspora, to seek a diplomatic breakthrough with Yerevan,
and - most importantly - to continue the shy steps of reviving the
Armenian cultural legacy in Anatolia.

One wants to remain hopeful that each year, on April 24, additional
steps will come from the Turkish government that will facilitate
reconciliation with Armenians both at home and abroad.

Date: May 14, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC - On the eve of the centennial anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide, Van Z. Krikorian, Co-Chair of the Armenian Assembly of America
Board of Trustees, testified before the U.S. Commission on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) congressional hearing entitled
`A Century of Denial: The Armenian Genocide and the Ongoing Quest for

Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) opened the hearing
with a powerful statement. `The Armenian Genocide is the only one of the
genocides of the twentieth century in which the nation that was decimated
by genocide has been subject to ongoing outrage of a massive campaign of
genocide denial, openly sustained by state authority,' Chairman Smith said.
`This campaign of genocide denial is a slap in the face to the Armenian
people, preventing reconciliation and healing. As Pope Francis said at this
Mass marking the centenary of the genocide, `Concealing or denying
evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.''

Excerpts from Krikorian's statement are below, and his full statement is
available here.

`President Obama has used the Armenian term for the Armenian Genocide
("Meds Yeghern"), he has described and condemned all of the events which
provide a dictionary definition of the Armenian Genocide, he has called on
Turkey to deal with its past honestly and he has referred back to his prior
statements as a Senator explicitly using the term Armenian Genocide. But
since his election as President, he has been misled by false promises and
bowed to threats from the worst kind of people. This undercuts his own
credibility. Worst of all it puts more lives at risk as history does repeat

`The record has never been in doubt. To say that people are shocked is an
overstatement. The news that the Turkish Foreign Minister met with
Secretary Kerry and National Security Advisor Rice with ISIL on the table
made everything clear. However, to say that we are deeply disappointed is
an understatement.

`The truth is we feel pain and sorrow, close to when a loved one is lost.
We feel pain for the innocent people and civilization that was destroyed.
We feel sorrow in the knowledge that it will continue unless change comes.
And like other victim groups, we are more than resilient enough to
rededicate ourselves to the cause of preventing genocide which we have

Throughout the hearing, Krikorian exposed the fallacies of the denialist
arguments on `archives,' `letting the historians decide,' and `calls for a
commission,' with the unique experience of his participation in the Turkish
Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC). TARC held a legal hearing and
jointly issued a legal opinion that all elements of the Genocide Convention
definition were met, ending the terminology debate. `Considering the
record, Armenian President Sargsyan has a good response on the disingenuous
commission idea - Turkey seems determined to keep asking for commissions
until one finally agrees with its position,' Krikorian stated in his
testimony. Other topics covered include the 1982 State Department Note, the
historic and modern US and international record, Raphael Lemkin, the impact
of Hasan Cemal and his book on the Armenian Genocide, Hrant Dink, the
prescient reporting of Dr. Wilfred Post, the 2009 Protocols, the opening of
the online Armenian Genocide Museum of America, the need for increased
contact between Armenians and Turks, and more.

Paraphrasing President Obama, Krikorian emphasized: `As Armenians have
before, we are willing to extend a hand if the first on the other side in

Congressman Steven Cohen (D-TN), co-chair of the Congressional Turkey
Caucus, urged that all historians be heard, to which Krikorian responded
forcefully by reminding the committee of Bernard Lewis' 1995 conviction in
a French court for liable on the Armenian Genocide, as well as Lewis' 1961
and 1968 publications acknowledging the terrible holocaust of 1.5 million

Krikorian's testimony included President Obama's 2008 quote: `the Armenian
Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but
rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of
historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that
calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable
policy....America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian
Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that

Also speaking at the hearing were Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who lent their support to Chairman Smith
for holding the hearing, and added their agreement with the witnesses
testimonies on Turkey's need to end its campaign of denial and acknowledge
the Armenian Genocide.

In addition to Krikorian, other witnesses included Dr. Taner Akçam,
Professor of History, Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and
Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies, Clark University; Mr.
Kenneth V. Hachikian, Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of
America (ANCA); Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Visiting Associate Professor of
Conflict Resolution, The Fletcher School, Tufts University; and Mrs. Karine
Shnorhokian, representative of the ANCA/Genocide Education Project. All
witnesses agreed that reconciliation requires recognition.
Iceland Minister: I share pain of Armenian people

YEREVAN.  - Terrible things happened with the Armenian people and it
is very important to study and remember the history so that this could
never repeat again, Iceland's Education Minister Illugi Gunnarsson
told Armenian

Asked about the reasons why Iceland has not recognized the Armenian
Genocide yet, the Minister said he cannot speak on behalf of his
government, as he is only the minister of education and science.

 "Nevertheless, I can express my personal opinion. I sympathize with
the Armenian nation in connection with these horrific events and I
share their pain," the Minister added.
19 May 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

A lawsuit in Turkey filed by the Armenian Church to recover its ancient
headquarters, seized a century ago during the Armenian genocide, is the
"first legal step" of a goal to reclaim all Armenian property seized
by the Turks, His Holiness Aram I told The New York Times Monday.

The leader, Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, also said
that if the Turkish legal authorities rejected the lawsuit, it would
"deepen the divide" between Turkey and the 10-million-member Armenian

Aram I spoke in an interview at The New York Times while on a visit
to diaspora communities in the Northeast after having participated
in genocide centennial events in Washington.

He is a leading advocate of the effort to increase global recognition
of the 1915-23 killings of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks
as a genocide, a description embraced by Pope Francis, the European
Parliament and legislatures of more than 20 nations but angrily
rejected by Turkey's government, which calls it a distortion of

Legislatures of many American states also have called the killings
a genocide. The White House has yet to do so, but Aram I said, "I am
sure President Obama, in his heart, knows that this was genocide."

On April 27, lawyers for the church filed a suit with the
Constitutional Court of Turkey asserting that the headquarters of the
Catholicosate in Sis, part of the Kozan district in southern Turkey's
Adana Province, was wrongly seized and should be returned.

The headquarters, which dates to 1293 and included a cathedral and
monastery, was once the epicenter of Armenian Christian life. It was
among the tens of thousands of Armenian properties commandeered and
plundered during the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the scattering
of Armenian survivors. The headquarters was re-established in 1930,
in Antelias, Lebanon.

Aram I, who at 68 is the first Lebanese-born leader of the
Catholicosate of Cilicia, said he had decided to proceed with a
lawsuit after having consulted with 30 legal experts, including some
from Turkey. While the church's efforts to achieve an international
acknowledgment of the genocide were important, "after 100 years,
I thought it was high time that we put the emphasis on reparation,"
he said.

"This is the headquarters of the church," he said. "This is the
first legal step. That will be followed by our claim to return all
the churches, the monasteries, the church-related properties and,
finally, the individual properties. We should move step by step."

There has been, as yet, no response by the Constitutional Court to the
suit, and the Armenian Church leader speculated that its judges may
be ignoring it. But the mayor of Kozan, Musa Ozturk, signaled within
days of the suit that the church would have a fight on its hands.

"Not even an iota of land is to be handed over to anyone," Mr. Ozturk
said in remarks quoted by Turkish news media. The mayor said the
church had no proof of ownership.

Aram I acknowledged that the church did not have deeds, but said he
considered that level of proof to be absurd considering the obvious
nature of the properties. "The ownership is clear," he said. "They
are Armenian. Nobody can question the ownership or identity or history
of those properties."

The church's lead international lawyer in the suit, Payam Akhavan,
a McGill University professor and legal expert on genocide issues,
said in a recent telephone interview that he planned to take the case
to the European Court of Human Rights if the Turkish court rejects it.

Under the European convention on human rights, all domestic remedies
must be exhausted before such a case could be heard.

Mr. Akhavan said the lawsuit had been carefully framed to avoid
antagonizing the Turkish authorities over the genocide issue. "We
have a property claim," he said. "We're not asking for recognition
of the Armenian genocide. We have a very pragmatic claim."

Aram I said he had never been able to visit the ancient headquarters
and feared that the local authorities had made efforts to erase
its Armenian identity. He also expressed impatience with a view
that the church's confrontational stance, as seen in the lawsuit,
is inconsistent with the principle of forgiveness, a basic Christian

"Forgiveness comes when there is confession, repentance, acceptance of
sin," he said. "Reconciliation is part of our human faith and values,
but first of all, Turkey must reconcile with its own past."
New York Carnegie Hall to host Genocide centennial concert 
17 May 2015 

Part of a series of official memorial concerts around the world in
association with the Yerevan Perspectives International Music
Festival, "With You, Armenia" juxtaposes Armenian composers with works
by Chopin and includes a world premiere of specially-composed choral
work by Krzysztof Penderecki.

For those generations, especially in the West, who grew up learning
about the great massacres of the first half of the Twentieth Century,
with the words "never forget" as a presumed axiom of civiliation,
there is something almost as shocking about the fact that the Armenian
Genocide of 100 years ago is still not universally accepted, as the
fact of it having happened at all. In only the last weeks, as the
centenary date itself neared and the Pope acknowledged the genocide,
as did the leaders of France, Russia, Germany and Austria, Turkey's
leadership has voiced strong objections. Yet in music, perhaps, away
from the corridors and considerations of geo-political maneuverings,
in melodies that touch our soul and remind us of truths, the horrific
events of the Genocide can sound a warning bell for our own future.

And if we listen to the music, if we recognize our own transgressions
and tragedies within it, Armenia and the world can move to a more
harmonious future.
Such is the fervent hope of the leading pianist Evgeny Kissin, who
leads a special "With You, Armenia" concert at Carnegie Hall on May
26, as it is of the concert's organizers, the Yerevan Perspectives
International Music Festival, reports.

"People often treat each other badly," says Kissin. "But seldom does
it happen on the scale of what took place in Turkey 100 years ago: the
killing of 1,500,000 people (a half of all Armenians in the world) for
belonging to their nation.

"Thirty-four years later, before invading Poland, Adolf Hitler,
telling his commanders-in-chief that he had sent to the East his
'Death's Head units' 'with the order to kill without pity or mercy all
men, women and children of Polish race or language,' added, 'Who still
talks nowadays about the extermination of the Armenians?' And
everybody knows what Hitler's butchers then did to six million Jews (a
third of the Jewish people) in the few years that followed.

"That's why genocides must never be forgotten. That's why I am taking
part in the concert in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
centennial at Carnegie Hall in New York: not only to honour the memory
of one and a half million innocent martyrs and to mourn together with
my Armenian brothers and sisters, but also to make sure that more
people will remember the tragedy of the Armenian nation and the
hideous crime against it."

As Kissin notes, the genocide paved the way for Hitler's savage
campaign in Poland - and, shortly afterwards, the Holocaust - and this
concert marks that connection with a blend of Armenian and Polish
music. The concert's first half, which features the Hover Chamber
Choir of Armenia, will include pieces by Armenian composers such as
Komitas, Sharafyan and Tigran Mansurian. Its centerpiece will be a
specially-composed work of remembrance offered by the great Polish
composer Krzysztof Penderecki, here receiving its world premiere.
Penderecki will be in attendance to see the premiere, sung by what he
himself has called "the best chamber choir in the world", conducted by
its artistic director, Sona Hovahnnisyan.

The second half will see the stage given over to Evgeny Kissin. His
performance of Chopin works will be followed by an Armenian encore,
the mournful traditional song, Kroung.

This concert is part of a year-long series of concerts around the
world marking the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, all presented by
the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival, founded and led
by the prominent Armenian composer Stepan Rostomyan. Among the many
artists appearing in various of these concerts are Evgeny Kissin,
Pinchas Zukerman, Mischa Maisky, Valery Gergiev and Maxim Vengerov.

"We want this event to be two things," says Rostomyan, "First, a true
memorial for a great tragedy that, despite happening all of 100 years
ago, still is not acknowledged by every country. But this is also
about looking forward. Culture - and Armenia is a very culturally rich
country - is about finding our common humanity, understanding and more
importantly feeling how we are all the same. So we hope that these
concerts will encourage everyone to come to terms with this dark
chapter in our universal history, and look into the future together,
with Armenia joining hands with all of our fellow human beings. 

German websites have been recently targeted by a Turkish hacker group
over reports and remarks concerning the Armenian Genocide.

Haber 7 reports that the organization, Turkish Hackers' Team,
has attacked 300 government websites. Germany's recognition of the
Armenian Genocide is said to be their major motive.

"Our attacks are targeted against countries acknowledging the genocide
comedy so to say. By hacking the state-owned websites of Armenia
and Austria, we demonstrated that we are as good as our word. And
from now on too, you will see our reaction as long as we are alive,"
the hackers said, citing a statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

[Etyen is at it again - grains of truth don't hide the central issue] 

Daily Sabah, Turkey
May 16 2015
Armenians' strategy

Like any other community, Armenians side with groups that voice their
grievances in a more radical way. One reason for this is Turkey's
denial over the years of the 1915 events. This situation justified
radical Armenians whose rhetoric dominated the majority of discussions
in the Armenian community. Although this did not necessarily require
Armenians to develop a maximalist strategy, it was the easiest way
toward which the Armenian diaspora was inclined.

The strategy in question consists of three parts: Moving the issue of
recognition away from its historical context and reducing it to the
acceptance of genocide, regarding the Turkish state as an addressee
that is supposed to accept it as genocide and considering activism as
a sufficient policy.

The description of the matter as recognition of the genocide relieved
Armenians considerably. It enabled Armenians to escape the complicated
structure of history and, for instance, it made them leave the
politics of Dashnaks to the sphere of "experts." For Armenians, it
became a kind of historical knowledge that the 1915 incidents were
genocide, so much so that we Armenians do not have to know about our
own history. For a vast majority, it might be enough to know that what
was experienced was genocide. Unfortunately, this preference means the
estrangement of Armenians from their own history and experiences.
Perhaps, one reason why they cling to the term genocide is their wish
to conceal this alienation.

It was exhausting to regard the Turkish state as an addressee, as this
situation doomed Armenians' emotional world to a superficial
politicization. This is because forcing a state to take a certain step
implies that you yourself are acting like a state. Indeed, the
Armenian diaspora dedicated all its energy to lobbying. It strived to
convince foreign governments and parliaments to accept the Armenian
genocide. Thus, the issue gradually became an interstate topic and
Turkey's denial politics became legitimate. It was nonsensical to talk
about the goodwill of states that acknowledged the genocide.
Nation-states are the parts of a world where non-ethical
institutionalizations and interests are prioritized. Therefore, the
presence of countries that accept the genocide said something to
Turkey about their policies on Turkey, but they did not say anything
about 1915. Moreover, it moved 1915 further away from its historical
context and made it a part of current opportunistic politics.

The fact that the Armenian diaspora eventually found activism
sufficient overwhelmed the debate. They failed to understand that the
repetition of norms and moral principles was not politics. As
Armenians were victims, they thought that the recognition of their
sorrows and the alleviation of their grievances was their
incontestable right. However, history is not a fair judge. Obtaining
the things that you think you deserve is directly related to what you
are doing here and now. The recognition of 1915 requires Armenians to
develop a correct political strategy today.

The logic of this correct strategy is possible with going beyond the
three mistakes that have been made so far - understanding and
recognizing concrete life experiences, rather than genocide, in all
their complexity; expecting this recognition from Turkish society,
rather than from the state and accepting particularly the conservative
wing of society as an addressee and escaping the comfort of activism,
trying to understand the current Turkey and to get in touch with it.
Such a strategy will rapidly make Armenians' experiences the property
of Turkey's community and will make statist resistance meaningless.
Then it will be up to each individual to call it genocide or not. 
Yet still, we can manage to look at history together.

Letter to the Derby Telegraph, UK
May 18 2015

TURKEY is a very popular destination for British tourists today. Most
of them are totally unaware of a dark side of the history of this

In recent weeks France commemorated an event which took place in
Turkey in 1915 and a large gathering was addressed by President
Hollande in Paris.

It is a hundred years ago that the "American Massacre" swept through
the Ottoman Empire, which sided with the German and Austro-Hungarian
Empires during the First World War of 1914-1918.

It was a time when Turkish nationalism was gaining momentum.

Because the Armenians were Christians and similar in belief to the
Russian Orthodox Church, they were accused of siding secretly with
Czarist Russia in the Great War.

All these factors combined to see the death of around one-and-a-half
million Armenians living in Turkey in 1915.

Many Armenians were massacred in a frenzy of Turkish nationalism.

It was reported that in some places Armenian men, women and children
were shut up in their churches which were put on fire.

Armenian homes, shops and churches were destroyed and looted. During
the "Armenian Massacre", many thousands who were displaced and driven
out died of starvation. Ethnic cleansing was achieved.

Until today, no Turkish Government has recognised officially the
terrible events of 1915. It is as though the brutal death of so many
Armenians never even happened. Very few Armenians still reside in
Turkey today, mainly in Istanbul.

Turkey wishes to join the European Union. How can this happen until
the Turks admit to the genocide of its Armenian population in the
terrible events of 1915?

Schools and colleges in Turkey should be taught about the "Armenian
Massacre" in their country. Like tourists from abroad, the people of
Turkey must be made aware of the 1915 genocide.

Saros Kavina Derby

By Assadour Guzelian
May 18, 2015

Sponsored by Ambassador of Armenia to the United Kingdom Dr. Armen
Sarkissian, a concert was held at the Royal Festival Hall, London,
on Sun., May 3, dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

The world-famous concert hall was filled to capacity by music lovers
who had come to honor the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the
Armenian Genocide, as well as to enjoy an evening of excellent music.

The concert was attended by prominent persons, including politicians
and ambassadors of many countries.

A scene from the concert

Participating in the concert were the London Philharmonia Orchestra,
conducted by Vassily Sinaisky; Royal Opera House soprano Anush
Hovhannisyan; world-famous violinist Sergey Khachatryan; and the
Philharmonia Voices Choir, conducted by Aidan Oliver.

In his opening speech, Sarkissian spoke about the Centennial and
pointed out that although the concert was dedicated to the memory
of the 1.5 million Armenian martyrs, it was also a celebration of
survival, rebirth, revitalization, and a triumph of life. At his
request, the audience observed a minute's silence in memory of the

The concert began with excerpts from Mozart's "Requiem," faultlessly
performed by the London Philharmonia Orchestra and the Philharmonia
Voices, masterfully conducted by Sinaisky.

Hovhannisyan was given the task of interpreting parts of the second
movement of Gorecki's "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," a complex work
dedicated to the Jewish Holocaust that demands perfect vocal control
for conveying intimately the sigh of suffering and sorrow felt by the
genocide survivor. Hovhannisyan deserves every credit for immersing
herself in the emotions of the composer and masterfully expressing
them. It should be noted, however, that the Armenians in the audience
were also hoping to hear Hovhannisyan perform an Armenian spiritual
song suitable for the occasion, such as "Ter Voghormia," "Horjam,"
or "Havun Havun." One felt the artist was not given the opportunity
to manifest glory of her beautiful voce to its fullest extent.

Accompanied by the outstanding London Philharmonia Orchestra, Sergey
Khachatryan, the exceptionally talented young violinist, played
"Krunk" (Crane), Komitas's soul-stirring, nostalgic song. The impact
of Khachatryan's captivating performance will remain in the memory
of many for a very long time.

A scene from the concert dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian

Komitas' s "Krunk" was followed by "Hayr Mer" (Our Father) and "Surb
Surb" (Holy Holy) from the Armenian Mass by Makar Yekmalian, performed
(in Armenian) by the Philharmonia Voices, conducted by Aidan Oliver.

The choir sung both pieces with perfect pronunciation. In expressing
the vocal value of every word, the Armenian audience was given the
impression that they were listening to the choir of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The performance was superb.

The second part of the concert was dedicated to the music of Aram
Khachaturian. Accompanied by the London Philharmonia Orchestra,
conducted by Sinaisky,

Sergey Khachatryan played the entire "Violin Concerto." No doubt,
many present had heard the concerto more than once. I personally
have heard it many times, but never the way Khachatryan performed on
this occasion. It is a piece full of colorful melodies and intricate
nuances superbly interpreted by the young violinist. There was perfect
understanding between the soloist, the orchestra, and the conductor.

On the stage, the artist was absorbed in moments of emotional
enjoyment, which also engulfed the audience. Khachatryan's violin
produced sounds that were magical, captivating, and mesmerizing. He is
truly an exceptionally talented artist. I am sure if Aram Khachaturian
were alive, he would have given Khachatryan the same accolade. The
young violinist's performance was received with stormy applause and
prolonged shouts of appreciation, which brought him back to the stage
a number of times.

The last item on the program was a selection of music from
Khachaturian's "Spartacus" ballet, masterfully played and conducted by
the London Philharmonia Orchestra and Vassily Sinaisky, respectively.

The performance was received with prolonged applause and encores. In
response to the persistence of the audience, the orchestra played
Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance," creating an atmosphere of great
enthusiasm and joy.

No comments: