Three AGBU-supported Concerts Celebrate the Armenian Musical Heritage in Bulgaria

Bulgaria_April_Concert_01 During the month of April, the Bulgarian-Armenian community hosted a trio of concerts that celebrated the vitality of the Armenian musical
heritage across Bulgaria. From the AGBU Sofia Chamber Orchestra to the
AGBU Erebouni band of Plovdiv, the wealth and spectrum of
Bulgarian-Armenian talent impressed audiences across the country.
On April 6, a fundraising concert was held in the southeastern city of
Sliven to aid in the building of the St. Hagop Armenian Church complex
in neighboring Yambol, Bulgaria. Jointly organized by Sliven’s Armenian
Church Parish Council, AGBU Sliven and AGBU Plovdiv, the event showcased
musicians and speakers from Plovdiv, including Diana Manukyan, Tateos
Sandjakyan, the duo Anna and Suren Hanamiryan and the AGBU Erebouni
band, and Sliven, including the “Pretty Towngirls” from Drujba library,
Naiden Arsenyan and Hripsi Garabedyan.
Despite the poor weather conditions, the concert was sold out,
demonstrating the resiliency of Armenian music lovers. Official guests
at the event were Sonia Arshavir, Chairman of AGBU Yambol and the city’s
Armenian Parish Council; Edouard Arsenyan, Chairman of the Coordinating
Committee for Armenian organizations in Plovdiv and AGBU Plovdiv board
member; Georgi Zafirov, regional coordinator of PP Ataka and chairman of
the Yambol Regional Youth Committee for culture, religion and politics;
Chrastanka Shakliyan, deputy of the Bulgarian Democratic Party; and Ivan
Petrov, a local town councillor.
The concert concluded with a medley of popular Armenian tunes by the
AGBU Erebouni band, which performed under its artistic director Sona
Feschiyan.
On April 20, the AGBU Sofia Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of
conductor Bedros Papazyan, performed at the National Academy of Music.
The event was dedicated to both the 93rd anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide and the centennial of Bulgarian composer Marin Goleminov.
Papazian was a student of the esteemed Goleminov, and included in the
concert’s program was one of Goleminov’s most beloved works, “Five
Sketches,” for string orchestra.
Concertmaster Desislava Popova performed a solo piece, while harpist
Kohar Adonyan presented “Frescoes.” The concert also featured guest
violinist Vache Hoveyan, an alumnus of the Yerevan State Conservatory
and New York City’s Mannes College of Music. A winner of many
international prizes, Hoveyan has performed around the world and is
currently a professor at the Yerevan State Conservatory and founder of
the Aram Khachaturyan String Quartet. Accompanied by the AGBU Sofia
Chamber Orchestra, Hoveyan performed Hindemith’s “Mourning Music.”
Two young cellists, Dimitar Tenchev and Nikola Damyanov, also took to
the stage to deliver a riveting performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s
“Concerto for Two Cellos.”
The orchestra also played “Shushanik” by E. Mirzoyan, while the encore
performance of Komitas’ “Krunk” emotionally resonated with the capacity
crowd.
The same day, AGBU Silistra organized a concert, entitled “Sunny Smiles
from Armenia,” at Silistra’s Dramatic Theatre Hall under the auspices of
the city’s mayor, Ivo Andonov. A longtime supporter of the local
Bulgarian-Armenian community, Mayor Andonov extended official
invitations for the event to various Armenian diplomats, including His
Excellency Sergey Manasaryan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia in
Bulgaria, and the Honorary Consul Ehiazar Uzunyan of the Republic of
Armenia in Plovdiv.
Other official guests at the April 20 performance were District Governor
Svetlana Velikova; Roupen Chavoushian, AGBU Plovdiv Chairman; Edouard
Arsenian, Plovdiv Coordinating Committee of Armenian Organizations
Chairman and AGBU Plovdiv committee member; and Arakel Kaprielyan, AGBU
Plovdiv committee member.
The event which was covered extensively by the local media, included
performances by a number of Plovdiv musicians, including the AGBU
Erebouni band and the duo of Anna and Suren Hanamiryan.
Roupen Chavoushian presented Mayor Andonov with a special award in
recognition of the mayor’s outstanding contribution in promoting and
preserving the Armenian culture in his municipality.
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world’s largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an
annual budget of $34 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian
identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian
programs, annually serving some 400,000 Armenians on six continents.
With reporting by Prof. Boyanka Arnaoudova in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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