Rising Artists Discover their Musical Heritage with AGBU’s New Musical Armenia Program

For years, they’ve been listening to and playing recordings of their favorite musicians, and this summer, a select group of up and coming artists got the chance to play right alongside those performers who have inspired them. Collaborating with top Armenian musicians is just one of the many exciting activities that the Musical Armenia Program (MAP), AGBU’s latest initiative geared toward youth and young adults, has to offer.

Launched this summer, MAP brought together a group of nine talented young composers, flutists, pianists, singers and violinists, from as far away as Syria, Greece, and the United States, in their homeland of Armenia. From July 14 – August 4, 2012, the participants, together with their chaperone, Wanes Moubayed, a violinist and the conductor of the AGBU AYA Aleppo Gomidas Chamber Orchestra, discovered their musical heritage. Students also attended lectures and classes with experts in the field, visited local institutions such as the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and Sayat Nova Music School, and toured the country’s historic landmarks.

When they were not in the audience at various concerts, the musicians took the stage themselves. Earlier this month, MAP pianist Shoushy Nakashian and MAP violinist David Melkonian performed in the celebrated “Im Hayasdan” (“My Armenia”) festival of Armenian Performing Arts, which was held under the patronage of the Diaspora Ministry. As the program came to an end, all enjoyed performing in a grand finale concert on August 3, 2012, playing side by side with the teachers from whom they learned so much.

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