Armenian Organist Wins Special Prize At International Contest

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Two events have coincided this year: The 250th death anniversary of the genius composer Johann Sebastian Bach and the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the International Bach Contest held in Leipzig. Anna Bakunts–an Armenian organist and post-graduate student at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory under Professor Vahagn Stamboltsian–participated in this year’s contest. She was awarded by a special diploma–Sonderpreise–and 9 volumes of works for organ by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The sponsor of the special prize is Barenreiter Publishers. Fifty-three contestants from Western Europe–Ukraine–Armenia–Japan–America–Canada–Argentina–and Australia demonstrated their skills in playing pieces on organs that where actually used by the great Bach. These organs were manufactured by Silbermann Co. in the city of Rotha and on was the organ in St. Thomas’ Church whose cantor was Bach from 1723 to 1750.

In a Noyan Tapan interview–Anna Bakunts said that "the international jury assessed the knowledge of style peculiarities in performing the works for organ by Bach–Couperin–Sweelinck–Buxtehude and others. It was also necessary to play a work composed specially for the contest by the modern German composer Christian Kram."

The trip of the Armenian organist to Leipzig was sponsored by the first lady of Armenia–Bella Kocharian.

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