“Music 20”.A festival that broke the silence

A large number ofcelebrated musicians, soloists and conductors arrived in Armenia to participate in the “Music 20” online international festival, held on July 10 through 28 in Yerevan, Armenia with cellists Alexander Ramm, Boris Andrianov, violinists Andrey Baranov, Francesca Dego, conductor Marius Stravinsky, pianists Nikita Mndoyants, Alexander Ghindin, Gloria Campaner and others among them.Under the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this festival was a highly expectedevent both for the musicians and lovers ofclassical music. 

In a conversation with Orer.am Gloria Campaner was among the invited pianist of the “Music 20” festival playing Beethoven, Debussy and other composers.

“The whole world was shaken by COVID-19.  The pandemic took a tragic turn especially in Italy. On my return to Milan from my concerts in Beirut,I was sure I would have performances in Italy, but upon arriving at the airport, it felt like a desert all around the place.

All concerts of my colleagues and mine too, were canceled, and it wasn’t clear what was going to happen next. For the four months before June, everything was suspended. Fortunately, since the beginning of June, some events started to be held in an open-air format. However, all of that felt very strange with the audience forced to sit so far away”- she said.

Gloria Campaner admits she was happyto be invited to Yerevan to participate in a festivalafter that long break. The Italian pianist emphasizes that the festival was a greatproject, organized in a very short period but with such a rich content.

“I am proud to be a part of this music celebration. Music can soothe and comfort people in this situation.” 

According to the pianist, the coronavirus is a global catastrophe that impacted the art of music dramatically.

“Especially in Italy, the culture was struck immensely. A great silence was urged. Silence is good for the musician, of course, only when it doesn’t last long. Silence can be used to think, learn, enrich the repertoire, but the music should be played for the listeners. And “Music 20” broke that silence,”-Gloria Campanersaid.

To diversity concert program included 19 symphony and chamber concerts, as well as a series of recitals featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Skryabin, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Grig, Shor, Khachaturian, GhazarosSaryan, Alexander Arutiunian, Edward Mirzoyan, John Ter-Tadevosian, StepanShakaryan, TigranMansurian, Eduard Hayrapetyan and other composers.

The musicians of the Russia-based “Rusquartet” ensemble were impressed by their visit to Armenia and by the festival itself. The ensemble played works by Alexander Borodin and Alexey Shor. The quartet members mention that this is the first time they have encountered Shor’smusic, which was a great discovery for them. Incidentally, Shor’s violin concert “Seascapes” was performed not with the original score, but as an arrangement for a string quartet. As shared by the musicians, it turned out very interesting and colorful, while they also told they did everything to stay true to the original work. 

“Music 20” was organized with the support of the European Foundation for Support of Culture, led by its President Konstantin Ishkhanov. Grammy nominated conductor, cellist and conductor Dmitry Yablonksy highlighted that this foundation brings to life large-scale projects across the world, and he is very thankful to be invited to participate in a festival that takes place even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Sergey Smbatyan, was the official orchestra of the “Music 20” festival.


Armine Grigoryan


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