Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the second time in recent days, I was able to attend a classical music concert, this time of the world famous Borodin String Quartet. I especially wanted to go to the concert to hear Ruben Aharonian, as I knew of his fame but hadn’t heard his playing in person.

To say the least, I wasn’t let down. The quartet was excellent, of very high quality, and Aharonian was superb. Listening, I realized the reason for Aharonian’s international fame.

As first violinist, he obviously led the group, whose members weren’t only expert musicians but played as one. At the end of the concert, those attending simply wouldn’t leave, leading to an encore of music by Tchaikovsky, whose music was included in the concert program, as was that of Borodin and Shostakovitch.

Leaving, I realized the important legacy being left in the classical field by those born in Armenia from 1945 to 1955: opera singers Arax Davityan, Barsegh Toumanyan, Gegham Grigoryan, as well as pianist Svetlana Navasartyan and tonight’s Ruben Aharonian...all world-class talents, able to equal or surpass the best in the world. Most of these artists either live and work outside of Armenia, or live in Armenia and work elsewhere, unless invited to occasionally perform in the homeland.

Why, I wonder, do the wealthy Armenians of the world generally not support these national treasures, but instead bring mediocrities to Armenia from who knows where, the result being the current level of classical music (opera, symphony) in Armenia.

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