Concerts and festivals held in the field of music
In the field of music, during the last 4 years, 143 concerts have been held through the co-operation between foreign and Armenian bands, musician-performers and conductors, engaging a diversity of genres and traditions — classic, folk, ethnographic, jazz, avant-garde, etc.
The diversity of genres in the field of music is also ensured through the “Yerevan Perspectives” International Music Festival, the Aram Khachaturian International Music Festival (held since 2013), the “National Gallery” International Music Festival, the “Yerevanian” Festival, “Return” Festival of Classical Music, as well as Henrik and Geronty Talalyan Viola and Cello Festival, the “Komitas” and Sayat Nova Republican Festivals, four out of which appear to be festivals of Armenian and foreign contemporary composing art (Armenian contemporary music, Armenian composing art, “Debut” Armenian young composers, “Arevner” children and youth songs), as well as joint festivals — Armenian-Russian, Armenian-Georgian, suggesting diversity of musical genres to listeners (classic, folk, ethnographic, jazz, avant-garde). World famous musicians and soloists such as Krzysztof Penderecki; Evgeny Kissin; Maria Guleghina; Pinchas Zukerman,; Zakhar Bron; Dmitri Hvorostovsky; Andres Mustonen; Viktor Eliseev; Joshua Bell; Alexei Lubimov; Maxim Vengerov; Sergey Khachatryan; Hayk Kazazyan; Narek Hakhnazaryan; Yefim Bronfman; Konstantin Lifschitz; Elena Bashkirova; Alexander Romanovsky; the Kronos Quartet; Vienna Philharmonic; Berlin State Opera Orchestra (conductor Daniel Barenboim); Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor Zubin Mehta); conductor, 12-time Grammy Award winner Michael Tilson Thomas; Hortus Musicus Ensemble; Grammy Award-winning Estonian National Male Choir; Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra (under the direction of viola player, conductor, teacher and public figure Yuri Bashmet); Shanghai Quartet; senior and junior Konstantin Orbelyans; Stefan Willich (conductor, doctor, founder of the World Doctors Orchestra) and the Camerata Salzburg Orchestra took part in the Festival.
The annual international competition named after Aram Khachaturian has been held since 2003, and the “Renaissance” Annual International Competition of Musicians and Performers has been held in Gyumri since 2007. The Armenian song competition-festival entitled “Zvartnots”, the competition for Chamber Ensembles — Performing Arts, National Competition of Young Concertmasters named after Heghine Ter-Ghevondyan and the Soloists (classical singing) republican competition are also held. The best young musician-performers having taken part in the competitions in the Republic have been recruited by the creative groups of not only national, but also leading foreign opera theatres and orchestras.
The most significant programme implemented in the field of music in 2013 proved to be the events dedicated to the 110th anniversary of Aram Khachaturian — prominent composer of 20th century. The events stood out with both their geographical coverage and content. Seventy-four concerts and events have been organised in 57 cities of 24 countries (USA, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Latvia, etc.). A number of international and republican competition-festivals, including three dozens of concerts in Yerevan, in the marzes of the Republic of Armenia and an international scientific conference, have been organised in Armenia. A collection of vocal compositions with musical notes, a photo album and an anthology of works (9 CDs, 1 DVD), 4 video reports, 4 video clips, more than dozens of popularisation programmes have been released, and republican and foreign media and presses provided wide coverage. An international festival dedicated to a composer was held for the first time, becoming a significant cultural event in Armenia.
The Arno Babajanyan International Junior and Youth Piano Competition-Festivals were held in Yerevan in 2013 and 2015. They are called for revealing talented musician-performers and propagandising classic music.
In 2014, targeted programmes were implemented for the purpose of developing choral art, namely, the “Singing Armenia” republican competition for youth and children’s choirs (within the framework of the “Komitas; children’s group-songs” contest, a collection was published), an international scientific conference and festival of choral art dedicated to the 145th birth anniversary of Komitas, as well as new programmes for group songs.
In 2015, within the framework of the “100 concerts” concert series, 26 music bands and artists gave 88 concerts in 32 countries (including Armenia), 68 of which —abroad, and 20 — in Armenia, within the framework of the “With You, Armenia” concert series, outstanding international music bands, choirs and world famous soloists gave concerts in 7 countries (Israel, Estonia, Belgium, USA, Great Britain, Italy, Austria), and within the framework of the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival, 6 concerts were held in Armenia with the participation of outstanding international music bands and soloists. As country of honour, Armenia participated in the “Midem-2015” cultural products tradeshow in Cannes where 14 Armenian music and dance groups and individual performers gave 6 concerts. There were also lectures, book presentations and other events devoted to music. This was a qualitatively new manifestation of public-private partnership, thanks to which a part of the Armenian music industry was introduced.
On 21 April 2015, the concert entitled “Memory of One Hundred Years” took place at Châtelet Concert Hall in Paris with the participation of 50 musicians of Armenian origin performing with the best music bands of different countries around the world, including France, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, England, Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, the USA, Lebanon, Russia and Armenia; they are part of the Pan-Armenian Orchestra, which is under the direction of world famous Armenian conductor Alain Altinoglu.
The “Spivakov Invites” Festival was organised in Armenia from 14-16 April 2015 at the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alexander Spendiaryan where the National Philharmonic of Russia performed Mozart’s Concerto No 17 for the Piano and Orchestra (soloist: Varvara Kutuzova) and Requiem. The State Academic Choir of Armenia also took part in the concert.
The “Renaissance” concert/action was organised on 24 April 2015, gathering musicians from Israel, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Spain, Belgium, China, Belarus, Austria, Malaysia, Poland, Russia and other countries and forming the 24/04 World Orchestra. Some 123 musicians of 43 countries performed as Peace Ambassadors with world famous conductors Mikhail Jurowski, Gianluca Marcianò, as well as Ohannes Chekidjian, Sergey Smbatyan and jointly with world famous Soprano Maria Guleghina, Baritone Gevorg Hakobyan, duduk player Jivan Gasparyan, cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan and violinist Sergey Khachatryan.