Armenian News Network / Groong


TWO 21-YEAR-OLD ARMENIAN MUSICIANS DEBUT IN NEW YORK

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 Vänskä.  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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