The two-month celebration of classical music – the 3rd Khachaturian International Festival crossed the finish line on 5th of December, presenting an unprecedented “Khachaturian and Jazz” concert project. The event was attended by RA First Lady Rita Sargsyan. It should be mentioned that the 3rd Khachaturian International Festival was held under the patronage of RA President Serzh Sargsyan.
During the closing ceremony of the Festival, for the first time the State Youth and State Jazz Orchestras of Armenia represented jazz arrangements of Aram Khachaturian's works. It included performances by Vahagn Hayrapetyan (piano), Armen Hyusnunts (saxophone) and Kamo Seyranyan (duduk), it was directed by Sergey Smbatyan and Armen Hyusnunts. The concert program includes jazz arrangements of excerpts from Khachaturian's "Gayaneh" and "Spartacus" ballets, as well as music of "Masquerade" drama, the anthem of Soviet Armenia and other compositions in jazz arrangement. The concert was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of pianist and jazz musician Levon Malkhasyan. Levon Malkhasyan himself performed during the evening, presenting “Dreams” and “Nocturne” by Arno Babajanyan.
Armen Hyusnunts notes that many jazzmen refer to classical music and the last does not suffer from it: “We observe the brilliant classical music through prism of jazz music and make it closer to jazz way of thinking. This project proved once again that Khachaturian’s music is a phenomenal national, folk music, and jazz interpretation of this kind of music is always justified. I am very pleased with the cooperation with the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, as well as with the results. In a very short period of time a lot of work has been done”.
Pianist Vahagn Hayrapetyan confesses that when he first heard about Khachaturian and jazz combination, he had some doubts, but gradually liked the idea of making jazz arrangement on Khachaturian music. “Armed only with paper and pencil, maestro presented our nation and history to the entire world. Khachaturian is a worldwide value, and we should pay tribute to his talent. This project is very important to me. Aram Khachaturian was one of those musicians who have promoted Armenian jazz establishment. When Artemi Ayvazyan was about to created the first jazz orchestra, Khachaturian was the one who went to the Central Committee and to Ministry of Culture, in order to help in implementation of this idea, so that the musicians could have a place for recitals and to equip them with all the necessary musical instruments. Maestro himself was all in favor of all kind of innovations, and I am sure he would enjoy this project”- said Vahagn Hayrapetyan.
Jazz musician Levon Malkhasyan mentioned that one of the jazz giants -Miles Davis wrote in his memoirs that many jazzmen will study chords, harmony of Khachaturian’s music and the melody of it will open a very interesting world to them.
Summarizing the 3rd Khachaturian International Festival, the artistic director and principal conductor of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia - Sergey Smbatyan considered it successful. "Khachaturian is a hero, whose original music is a great Armenian and all human value. I am proud that the Youth Orchestra could realize a Festival named after him. Simply we cannot deal without a festival carrying Khachaturian’s name”- said Sergey Smbatyan and quoted the words of the great composer: "Jazz is the music that brings me joy."
Concerning the "Khachaturian and Jazz" project, the artistic director and principal conductor of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia noted that it will be continuous and will be presented abroad.
One of the guests of this event was Irina Rodnina - Thrice Olympic Champion, Multiple World and European Champion of Figure Skating, , public figure and deputy of Russian State Duma. Sharing with impressions by the end of the concert Rodnina said: "It was just stunning. Such an interpretation of Khachaturian can bring only joy to the audience ".
It should be reminded that the organizer of the 3rd Khachaturian International Festival was the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia (general partner VivaCell-MTS). The Festival was realized with the assistance of the Ministry of Culture of RA. The Festival was sponsored by "Pyunik" Charitable Foundation, “Luding" and "Jermuk Group” Companies and Hotel "Ani Plaza".