Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

I was «Невыездной» (not permitted to travel abroad), I don’t know for which of my crime.”

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Tigran Mansurian’s jubilee thoughts This year is a jubilee for the renowned composer Tigran Mansurian. He turns 75 years old. On May 29, the upcoming concert at the Komitas Chamber Music Hall is dedicated to the jubilee of the composer. Earlier, the maestro’s 75th anniversary was marked at Zipper Hall and at UCLA University Concert Hall, in Los Angeles. In the conversation with Aravot, he informed that “Canti Paralelli” series of songs for vocal, piano and string orchestra based on two poems of Paghtasar Dpir, Charents, Isahakyan and Vahan Teryan, each, will be first played at the concert in Yerevan. The “Seasons of the Year” (the poetic text is national) will be played, also the first Violin Concerto and extracts from the works of Charents and Isahakyan composed for the chorus. The performers are the Armenia Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Choir, soloists – Anush Nikoghosyan (violin), Irina Zakyan (vocals), and Arthur Avanessov (piano). The concert will be conducted by Robert Mlkeyan. The composer added that a jubilee concert is planned in the fall, in Moscow. Mansurian’s art does not need to be introduced even to a wider audience, including overseas, and this is the case when the composer once was declared «невыездной», though his works were always played in the West. “I do not know for which of my crime… I was even deprived of visiting my sister who lives in Paris. But today I am happy that I have had these ten “closed” years, from 1980 until the beginning of the 90’s,” said the maestro. He added, the “title” of «Невыездной» is even somewhere decorating my resume.” To the observation by some of his colleagues that, unlike the Soviet Union, the amounts contributed to the culture have been much reduced, Mr. Mansurian said, “Only the fact that after the independence, except for the representatives of the performing arts, young composers may also take part in international competitions, is already an evidence of a broad field of freedom and working.” Renowned composer mentioned that he is composing by the order of musical groups of different countries, which are published in Germany. He informed that last year, finally, thanks to Armenia’s Ministry of Culture, his first collection of works was published in Armenia, the second one will be released by the end of the year. “I have a contract with a German publisher that I am obliged to first present them my new works. Sometimes they find it hard to published my works in Armenian poetry, which I implement here. I am always having new orders, and I still have not received any offer from Armenia, which, however, does not mean that I do not collaborate with our creative staff,” said the artist. To our question whether he shares the frequently “trumpeted” idea that we should be more presenting to the world with our art, the maestro responded, “Today, a large number of young musicians, including composers, study at Western institutions. Some are active only inside the Armenian community, some outside the community. In a few days, Michel Petrossian, a young composer living and creating in France, will visit Yerevan. Last year he won the Queen Elizabeth Prize. I should mention that many people like Michel started their education in Yerevan, and then made achievements in “abroad”. This speaks to our high school of performing, composing, and teaching. The Armenian music has always been voiced in overseas. And if not only I, but also some of my colleagues are taking orders from the West, it means that we have our place in the world’s musical map.” To our observation that it would be good if favorable conditions are created for our local artists, for them to live and create in their homeland, Tigran Mansurian responded, “Aram Khachaturian was living and creating in Moscow, William Saroyan, being an American writer, had spent a major part of his life in Paris, the jazz musician Tigran Hamasyan well-known in the United States, for instances, is living in Armenia, the violinist Sergey Khachatryan is living in Germany… So, you make up a conclusion.” The composer, however, meant that the creator of Armenian descent, if he is not leaving the sources, he can also advocate Armenia by creating his works outdoors.

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