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Tribute to Arno Babajanyan in Encounters with Art Series

November 07, 2011
On November 3 the traditional Encounters with Art series of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts presented a tribute to the famous Armenian composer Arno Babajanyan, dedicated to his 90th anniversary. 

Arno Babajanyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1921.  By the age of five his extraordinary musical talent was clearly apparent, and the composer Aram Khachaturian, who had a chance to meet the little boy, suggested that he be given proper musical instruction. Two years later, in 1928, at the age of 7, Babajanyan entered the Yerevan State Musical Conservatory, and further pursued his studies at the best musical schools of Moscow. Babajanyan gained recognition quite early in his career for both his academic music and his works in lighter genre – music for famous films, made both in Armenia and central film studios of the Soviet Union, popular hits of 1960s, written in cooperation with the most famous Russian poets of the 20th century, such as Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Robert Rozhdestvensky. Babajanyan was also acclaimed as a virtuoso pianist and performed many of his works himself. 

The event at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts was organized in cooperation with the Armenian branch of Arno Babajanyan Fund. 

The tribute evening opened with a projection of a 5-minute video, produced by the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, presenting archive visual materials of Arno Babajanyan and accompanied by the composer’s famous Nocturne.

The program was moderated by musicologist Nona Voskanyan, who introduced the composer, his compositions, his personality and the importance of Arno Babajanyan’s legacy for the Armenian culture. Arno Babajanyan’s friends, composers Melik Mavisakalyan and Martin Vardazaryan reminisced about Babajanyan, presenting him not only as a prominent composer, but also as a charismatic human being with an astonishing sense of humor and charisma. 

During the whole evening the Special Events Auditorium was filled with magic tunes by Arno Babajanyan, performed by awardees of musical competition named after Arno Babajanyan. 
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