Stunning Duo Piano and Vocal Performance at CSU, Fresno

FRESNO—Two Armenian pianists, Naira Shahsouvarian and Maria Amirkhanian, elated the music-loving community in Fresno with a stunning duo-piano performance followed by a vocal performance, featuring soprano Anahit Nersessian. The event, held at the Concert Hall in CSU Fresno, took place on Sunday, March 28, 2010. More than 250 people attended and enjoyed a fabulous musical selection. The guests were amazed at the high quality musical program as well as the caliber of the musicians featured.

The piano selections included contemporary classical music from around the world, which incorporated composers from South America, Europe and the United States, among others. The performance began with two numbers from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” suite and concluded with the “Armenian Rhapsody” by Alexander Harutunian and Arno Babajanian, which brought the audience to their feet.

“It was a wonderful Concert,” said Dr. Steve D. Lewis, Chair, Associate Professor of Geophysics, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, at CSU Fresno. “The piano music was spectacular, and the vocal performance was really magnificent.”

The Shahsouvarian-Amirkhanian duo demonstrated their immense talent throughout their performance. One could feel the musicians’ sense of enjoyment whether they were playing the slow and Latin-infused “Milonga de Angel” by Astor Piazolla or his more upbeat and rhythmic “Libertango.”

The artistic and technical ability of the two pianists charmed the audience. The audience could feel the lovers’ cry in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess while the performers’ dazzling technical proficiency was put on display in the first movements of Milhaud’s “Scaramouche” suite and Poulenc’s “Capriccio.”

Soprano Anahit Nersessian delighted the audience with her beautiful and highly expressive voice during the second half of the program. She was accompanied by Naira Shahsouvarian on piano. Known for her excellent coloratura techniques Anahit captivated her listeners with her interpretation of Johannes S. Bach’s Matthaus-Passion, Heitor Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras, Edward Mirzoian’s Dou Hasgadzar, Maurice Ravel’s Habanera as well as classic Armenian songs such as Romanos Melikian’s Varte, and the encore presentation of Parsegh Ganachian’s lullaby: Oror.

The Honorable Grigor Hovhannessian, Council General of Armenia, who made a special trip from Los Angeles to Central California to attend the concert, was the guest of honor.

The concert was organized by the Armenian Heritage Museum in Fresno, and supported by the Armenian Technology Group, Inc. (ATG), Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School, Triple X Fraternity, Fresno Chapter; Hamazkayin Armenian cultural Association – Taniel Varoujan Chapter, Tekeyan Cultural Association, and Fresno Piano and Organ.

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