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Evgeny Kissin’s concert at Carnegie Hall to commemorate Armenian Genocide centennial

Virtuoso pianist Evgeny Kissin will be leading a special concert at Carnegie Hall entitled “With You, Armenia” in commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. The concert will juxtapose Armenian composers with works by Chopin and will feature the world premiere of a newly composed work by Krzysztof Penderecki, reports.

Tuesday, May 26 at Carnegie Hall marks but the first in a series of concerts around the world, in association with the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival. The festival is a year-round celebration that invites top-flight classical soloists and ensembles to Armenia, organizing special events in cooperation with Armenia’s own Ministry of Culture.

Kissin, the grand Russian/British/Jewish pianist of our day, is hoping that, with this concert, Armenia and the world can move toward a more harmonious future. He is quick to reiterates that while everyone (save for the anti-Semites) would never condone what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish and Polish people in Poland, no one really discusses the very real extermination of all the Armenians not too many years ago.

According to Mr. Kissin: “That’s why genocides must never be forgotten. That’s why I am taking part in the concert in commemoration of the Armenian genocide centennial at Carnegie Hall in New York. Not only to honor the memory of 1.5 million innocent martyrs and to mourn together with my Armenian brothers and sisters, but also to make sure that more people will remember the tragedy of the Armenian nation and the hideous crime against it.”

A curious blend of Armenian and Polish music, the concert’s first half features theHover Chamber Choir of Armenia and will include pieces by Armenian composers such as Komitas, Vache Sharafyan and the great Tigran Mansurian.

Its culmination, though, will most certainly be the 80-something Penderecki’s brand new remembrance, who will be in attendance to hear its premiere–sung by what the composer calls, quote, “the best chamber choir in the world.”

The second half will see the stage given over to Kissin, the headliner proper. His performance of select Chopin pieces will be followed by a TBD Armenian encore. Kissin notes further, “people often treat each other badly, but seldom does it happen on the scale of what took place in Turkey 100 years ago–the killing of nearly a million and half people, half of all Armenians in the world, for belonging to their nation.”

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