YerazArt to Embark on North American Tour

BOSTON–The YerazArt Foundation will send its critically acclaimed YerazArt Young Musicians from Armenia group on tour for a series of four concerts across North America from September 28 to October 8, 2008.

Six prodigious musicians from the ancient South Caucasus nation will present the music of their homeland in a blend of indigenous and Western classical music. The aim of the tour is to connect North American audiences and music enthusiasts with one of the world’s oldest musical legacies in addition to giving an opportunity for the YerazArt musicians to experience the thrill of live performances in acclaimed venues. Cities included on the tour are Los Angeles/Glendale, Toronto, Montreal, and Boston/Watertown.

“The Fall 2008 tour will focus on Armenia’s brightest young talents in addition to the folk and classical traditions of their homeland, “ stated YerazArt Executive Director Raffi Meneshian. “ For all of the musicians, this tour is especially exciting as they many will be performing in the United States for the first time”

Partially inspired by Yo Yo Ma’s “Silk Road Project”, the YerazArt performance has distinct lineage to the groundbreaking project initiated by the internationally renowned cellist. Fifteen year old YerazArt duduk player (an Armenian oboe made of apricot wood) Arsen Petrosyan is a student of duduk master Gevork Dabaghyan, a featured “Silk Road Project” participant and leader of the Armenia’s Shoghaken Ensemble. Most recently, Petrosyan was featured at the UNESCO festival in 2007.

Another rising start to watch is seventeen-year-old kanoon and piano sensation Anahit Dilbaryan. A current student at Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan, Dilbaryan was featured on the PRI/BBC produced radio program “The World” hosted by Marco Werman in 2007 while on tour in the United States. Born in Spitak, Armenia, Dilbaryan’s dual role at kanoonist/pianist has delighted audiences across the US with many being drawn to her fiery style of performance.

Also featured on the tour are thirteen-year-old violinist Naira Grigoryan and fifteen year old Armenian folk singer Hovhannes Aleksanyan. The talents of nineteen year old multiple award-winning young cellist Vardan Gasparyan will also be on display as he performs Alexander Haryutunyan’s “Exprompt” among other classics. Lastly, this year YerazArt is proud to present twenty-year-old classical guitar/flamenco firebrand Vahan Davtyan to the stage as he performs works by Paco de Lucia, Paco Pena, and Armenian folk music as transcribed by Iakovos Kolanian.

A recently recorded CD of the YerazArt tour members entitled “Seeds 2” will be available at each concert, in addition to promotional DVD’s which present the YerazArt program. Featured on the DVD are National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia’s Artistic Director Aram Gharabekian, Shoghaken Ensemble master duduk player Gevorg Dabaghyan, and world music artist/composer Ara Gevorgyan, in addition to interviews with YerazArt co-founders Raffi Festekjian and Noubar Afeyan.

The YerezArt Foundation is a Boston-based 501 c (3) non-profit arts organization. For more information visit www.yerazart.org for details on ticketing and how you can support the program.

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