27 June 2014
On June 20th at the Armenian House, London, opera singer and conductor Sipan Hakobyan presented a lecture titled “The Development of the Armenian Classical Music Tradition Before and After the Genocide” to an audience of representatives of Armenian organisations, musicians and other guests.
Organised by TCA London after an idea by chairman Garo Boyadjian, it was the first in a series of three “A Night to Remember” events focusing on the impact of the genocide.
The lecture contained more than 34 music recordings and centered on 9 different Armenian composers, with 30 documentary photographs all compiled by Mr Hakobyan. The presentation explored in detail the historical and creative connections between these composers and the 1915 Genocide.
This provided some fresh insights into the culture of the era and was highly educational for both Armenians in the Diaspora and the British audience.
The presentation was concluded with the words of the poet Hamo Sahyan regarding Aram Khachatryan the most renowned Armenian composer of the 20th century. as ‘a global testimony to the civilisation of the Armenian nation’.
Sipan Hakopyan is Artistic Director of Tekeyan Cultural Association as well as Artistic Director and Conductor of the “Komitas” Choir of the Tekeyan Trust in London.
Mr Johan Michael Katz
‘Having conducted Armenian compostions by Mirzoyan, Arutiunian, Hovhaness not to mention Khachaturian and Komitas in the England and Russia and also having spent time chatting to the first two composers personally, it was important to be present at Sipan’s most interesting lecture recently.
He was able to fill in many of the important historical gaps in my knowledge.
The examples he played were most rewarding to listen to.
Of interest in that my Father in Law, Ashot Sarkissian, named his 4 daughters after operas. Therefore, my wife Anush, shares a very strong allegiance to the music of Tigranyan
This was an extremely useful talk in light of the 100th anniversary of the Genocide coming up next year. I have already committed to performing Mirzoyan’s Symphony for Timpani and Strings in Tver , Russia in May 2015.
Other Projects are pending so this presentation will help me present Armenian music in a more rounded fashion going forward’.
Johan Michael Katz
Honorary Vice President
Peter the Great Music Academy
Principal Guest Conductor
Pskov State Philharmonic
Ms Kristina Arakelyan
‘Mr Sipan Hakobyan’s lecture about notable Armenian composers of the 19th and 20th centuries was wonderfully presented and deeply fascinating. As an Armenian musician living in London I found this an invaluable source of inspiration and was proud to witness Mr Hakobyan’s enthusiastic approach towards the delivery of the topic of our honourable musical heritage. He engaged and moved everyone in the audience as his message was one of encouragement and exultation of our nation’s talent which, as he mentioned, never ceased to blossom despite the event of the Armenian Genocide. It was a privilege and joy to attend such a wonderful event, and I hope to see many other lectures by Sipan Hakobyan’.
Student of Royal Academy of Music