Khachaturian’s Legacy Celebrated at St. Vartan Cathedral in New York

A concert dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the birth of the great Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian was held at New York’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Wed., June 5. The event was organized under the auspices of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), and Ambassador Garen Nazarian, the permanent representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations.

Karine Poghosyan, an award-winning pianist, performed a program she created to present the richness and diversity of Khachaturian’s style. First, there was Khachaturian the lyricist, whose heartwarming melodies—”Adagio” from “Spartacus” and “Lullaby” from “Gayaneh”—Poghosyan performed with passion and grace. The program also highlighted the energetic and rhythmic Khachaturian of his early piano work “Poem” (1927) and the familiar “Toccata” (1932).

Finally, the audience encountered Khachaturian the innovator—less well known but all the more powerful and demanding—through his large-scale piano composition, the “Sonata” (1961). Poghosyan closed her exhilarating concert with an encore: Khachaturian’s “Waltz” from the “Masquerade Suite.”

More than 300 people attended the evening concert, including more than 40 United Nations ambassadors and dignitaries. The concert marked the inaugural 2013-14 Season of “Classical Music, Concerts @ Saint Vartan.” Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian welcomed the audience and outlined the objective of the concert series, mentioning that there would be four more concerts in the coming season. She spoke of Khachaturian’s lasting legacy and said he enriched human culture with the timeless beauty of his heritage.

“Music is a universal language of mankind,” said Ambassador Nazarian. “It touches many hearts, and reminds us of our common humanity and common responsibility to work together in partnership to spread the message of solidarity and peace around the world.”

Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian closed the evening with a benediction. A reception followed. The Very Rev. Fr. Mamigon Kiledjian, dean of St. Vartan Cathedral, was instrumental in organizing the concert.

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