Minaskanian to Perform at Benefit Concert at UCLA

LOS ANGELES–Raphael Minaskanian will perform a benefit piano recital featuring works by Bach–Beethoven–Chopin–and Melik-Aslanian. The event–sponsored by RAA/USA (Research on Armenian Architecture) in support of scholarships for CASPS (The Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools)–will take place at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall–on Sunday–March 13 at 3 p.m.

Born in Tehran in a music loving family–Minaskanian began his musical studies at the age of six. He made his first stage appearance at the age of ten and shortly after–performed Iran’s first televised classical piano recital. Studying under the distinguished teacher and composer Emanuel Melik-Aslanian–he honed his technical skills–making frequent stage and television appearances. After graduation from high school–he came to the United States with the goal of studying medicine–but it was Aube Tzerko–Professor of music at UCLA who encouraged him to devote himself to music. Thereafter–he studied with internationally known master teachers including Aube Tzerko in Los Angeles–Karl Ulrich Schnabel in Italy–and Ilona Kabos in London and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

Minaskanian’s London debut in the Purcell Room of Royal Festival Hall won him the acclaim of critics including that of the famed Eric Warr–who described the performance as a "most promising debut," and his artistic ability and technique as "mature" and filled with "excitement–brilliance–and unfailing clarity." Returning to Iran–Raphael was invited by the renowned Soviet Armenian composer and pianist Arno Babajanian–to share the stage with him–in a most memorable musical event–for the very first public performance of his Rhapsody for Two Pianos–in Tehran.

Over the past two decades–Raphael has continued to teach and perform–making frequent solo–chamber–and orchestral appearances. On the occasion of Aram Khachaturian’s 100th birthday festivities–he was a soloist in several events with the Armenian String Virtuosi under the internationally recognized conductor Loris Tjeknavorian. In addition to his busy stage and teaching schedule–Raphael is involved with community work–and regularly shares his art to help raise funds for humanitarian and educational causes. He recently honored the memory of his beloved teacher and mentor–Melik-Aslanian–with two critically acclaimed solo recitals–benefiting geriatric research and special pediatric care.

CASPS was created in the summer of 1994 by a group of concerned educators and citizen leaders with the goal to lay the foundation of a grass roots organization that would address the social and educational needs of immigrant children in public schools. Their mandate was to find solutions by collaborating with school districts and administrators and by directly working with students and parents. Positive feedback from schools and families and the growing demand for intervention by the community–provided the impetus for expansion into case management services–academic counseling and group therapy–staff development workshops for teachers–and a special effective parenting program available in Armenian–English–and Spanish. To date–CASPS has served over 3000 children and parents in all ethnic groups.

Tickets ranging from $100–$40–$30–to $15 for students can be purchased at the following:

Call UCLA at (310) 825-2101 or www.uclalive.org;
Ticketmaster (213)365-3500 or www.ticketmaster.com;
Call CASPS at (818) 222-7170

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