2013 marked a milestone anniversary: the 110th birthday of the great Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian. In Beirut, AGBU Lebanon celebrated through a special evening organized in collaboration with the Armenian Embassy. The commemorative event, which featured musical performances and an exclusive film screening, drew over 400 attendees to the local AGBU Demirdjian Center.
Several distinguished guests filled the center to pay tribute to the Armenian icon. Among those in the audience were Archbishop Kegham Khatcherian; Members of Parliament Shant Chinchinian and Jean Oghassabian; ambassadors from Argentina, Malta and Russia; as well as representatives of the Czech Republic, German and Ukraine Embassies. AGBU Lebanon District Committee president Gerard Tufenkjian, and AGBU benefactors Avedis and Rita Demirdjian and Sarkis and Seta Demirdjian were present. AGBU-AYA chair Vicken Tchertchian was also in attendance.
Anita Lebiar, the AGBU Lebanon executive director, welcomed the crowd, stating, ³We are so pleased to see such a wonderful turnout here tonight. Your presence shows that though it has been over a century since Khachaturian¹s birth, and decades since his death, his music continues to live on in each and every one of us today.
Following opening remarks by honored guest Ashot Kocharian, Armenia’s Ambassador to Lebanon, presentations brought Khachaturian¹s work to life. Documentary footage acquired from the Aram Khachaturian Museum in
Armenia, and a discussion by Harout Fazlian, the principal conductor and the artistic director of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, highlighted Khachaturian¹s countless contributions to the arts.
Pianists Armen and Suzanne Ketchek and violinist Boris Mirzoyan performed some of Khachaturian¹s beloved compositions. Waltz from “Masquerade”; “Sabre Dance” from his ballet “Gayaneh”; and “Adagio of Spartacus” and
“Phrygia” from his ballet “Spartacus” all drew rounds of applause. In the reception that followed, guests looked back on their favorite Khachaturian symphonies, concertos and film scores, all of which helped make him a legend.