Armenian Genocide Centennial Observed with Musical Performances at SCSU

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) held a series of public events on April 22-24 to observe the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide through music and art. Along with an opening reception for “Ashfall,” an installation by artist Robert Barsamian that tells the story of the victims of the genocide, guest musicians Anna Hayrapetyan and Tatev Amiryan gave in-class lectures and recitals for the university community as well as for the general public.

Anna Hayrapetyan and Tatev Amiryan perform

On April 22, Hayrapetyan and Tatev Amiryan performed a campus concert and met with students in music classes to talk about Armenian composers.
On April 23, the SCSU Symphonic Band presented a concert titled, “Music of Armenia,” featuring folk music by composers Hovhaness, Reed, Khachaturian, Komitas, and Strauss. Hayrapetyan discussed the origins of the music presented and University Band director Craig Hlavac explained the pieces’ arrangements.

On April 24, Hayrapetyan and Amiryan performed a recital in honor of the victims of the Armenia Genocide. Their performance featured pieces connected specifically with the genocide theme by Armenian composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Komitas, Mirzonyan, Kanachyan, and Amiryan.
Soprano Hayrapetyan graduated with her master of music degree from the University of Connecticut (UConn). With UConn’s Opera Theater, she has performed in “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein,” “Little Red’s Most Unusual Day,” “The Beautiful Bridegroom,” “The Fairy Queen,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Bastien und Bastienne,” and a staged concert of “Fables” by Madame Isabelle Aboulker.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, Australia. During her undergraduate studies, she performed in scenes from “Rigoletto,” “Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” and “Eugene Onegin,” and the title role in “Anush” by Tigranyan. Hayrapetyan is the winner of the MacArthur Music Competition in Sydney, where she was awarded first and second places for sacred music and operatic aria sections, respectively. Hayrapetyan has been teaching voice, piano, and music theory for more than five years. Her students’ achievements include winning different prizes in multiple competitions as well as successfully passing entry auditions to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and other music institutions.
Amiryan is a composer and pianist devoted to exploring the sounds of her native Armenian homeland. Influenced substantially by traditional Armenian folk and sacred music, she uses the musical language of her heritage to compose and perform new works. Amiryan received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in composition and music theory from the Tchaikovsky Special Music School and in composition and musicology from the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan. Currently, Amiryan is a composition Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music and Dance, and has dedicated her dissertation to the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

Her music has been performed extensively in the United States, Armenia, England, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Japan by such renowned ensembles and performers as Carpe Diem String Quartet, Ensemble Oktoplus, and Metropolitan Choral of Kansas City, and pianists Artur Avanesov, Hayk Melikyan, and Takahiro Akiba. In 2013, Amiryan was commissioned a piece by North German Radio NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk, which was premiered by Ensemble Oktoplus in Hannover, Germany, in 2014. Her piano piece, “Waiting for the Dawn,” was included in pianist Hayk Melikyan’s album of Armenian piano music “Echoes of Altar,” released in 2014 by the Ministry of Diaspora of Armenia in commemoration of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide. Often collaborating with the Komitas State Conservatory and the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Amiryan has given a number of recitals, performing both her own music, pieces from the classical and contemporary repertoire, and piano improvisations.

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Source: Weekly
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