Washington DC Celebrates Khachaturian Centennial

WASHINGTON–DC–On November 2–the Armenian Embassy in Washington–DC organized a concert dedicated to the Centennial of Aram Khachaturian’s birth. The event took place at the World Bank Auditorium.

Opening the event–Ambassador Arman Kirakossian welcomed everyone and presented musicians Sergei Azizian (violin) and Vahan Sargsyan (piano). Kirakossian said that Aram Khachaturian was not only an Armenian composer–but a composer whose art–life and music also transcends national and ethnic lines. "His path to musical composition was ingenious and marked by rare talent–as was his life–his Caucasian stoicism–and Armenian perseverance; these qualities helped him through many challenges and trials–like World War II and Stalinist persecutions. What we chiefly know Khachaturian for is his legacy of innovation and organic synthesis of Oriental and Western musical cultures that has ensured lasting universal interest in his music," stated the Ambassador.

Khachaturian’s centennial will be celebrated under the auspices of UNESCO next year.

The concert program included pieces from Bach–Ysaye–Khachaturian and Babajanian. More than 350 Washingtonians–foreign ambassadors–members of the diplomatic corps–representatives from the World Bank and other institutions attended.

A similar concert was organized on November 3 for the Armenian community of New York. It was sponsored by the Armenian Embassy in Washington–DC and the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of New York. Ambassadors Kirakossian along with Ambassador Movses Abelian of Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN attended that concert.

Violinist Sergei Azizian was born and received his primary musical education in Armenia. He continued his education in St. Petersburg at the Leningrad State Conservatory. While still studying–he competed successfully for a position in the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1993 he won the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra’s concertmaster position–moved to Denmark and has since been performing with that Orchestra. He also teaches at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen and is a leader of the Louisiana Museum Art Ensemble.

Pianist Vahan Sargsyan was also born and received his education in Armenia; he holds a doctorate degree from the Yerevan State Conservatory and Artist’s Diploma from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. While studying at the Conservatory he won various national contests. In 1991 he was the winner of the International Piano Competition held in Rio-de-Janeiro–and twice was a winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions. He currently works as a staff pianist at Duquesne University and Children’s Festival Chorus in Pittsburgh.

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