On May 5-13th, the Vartan Atjemian Drama Theater of Gyumri hosted the “Renaissance” 3rd International Contest-Festival of Musician-Performers held under the high patronage of the First Lady of the Republic of Armenia Mrs. Rita Sargsyan. The organizers of the festival-contest are RA Culture Ministry, RA Diaspora Ministry, “Pyunik” All-Armenian Fund for Human Resources Development and the Gyumri branch of the Yerevan State Conservatory (YSC). “Renaissance” is held with the sponsorship and financial support of VivaCell-MTS, “South-Caucasian Railways” JSC, Electric Networks of Armenia, and Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). A welcoming message to the participants of the festival was sent by AGBU President Mr. Berge Setrakian. The first “Renaissance” dedicated to the 140th birthday anniversary of Komitas was held in 2009. This year the festival was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and hosted more than 1200 participants from 23 countries of the world including Argentina, the Baltics and CIS countries, China, Georgia, Greece, France, Russia, South Korea, Uruguay and USA. The goal of the festival is to discover young talented musicians, support their development and professional growth and help the rebirth of the cultural life of Gyumri. 77 professional musicians and artists from all over the world were included in the contest-festival’s jury in seven categories and four age groups. As part of the festival, a two day international conference entitled “Dialogue of Cultures: Armenia and the World Culture”, dedicated to the 90th birthday anniversary of the well-known Armenian composer Eduard Mirzoyan, took place on May 6-7 with the participation of many prominent scholars, scientists, professors and academics from Armenia and abroad. Different events, master classes, jubilee evenings, meetings and tours were organized within the framework of the contest-festival that contributed greatly to the establishment of cooperation between local and international artists in music. AGBU Montevideo “Groong” choir’s concert in the Gyumri Art Academy marked a remarkable and unforgettable opening to “Renaissance”. The closing ceremony and gala concert took place at the Vartan Atjemian Drama Theater hall on May 13th. The festival revealed many new talents. Grand prix in different categories were awarded to Georgy Abuladze (piano, Georgia), David Kosemian (string instruments, Yerevan), Yulia Shosnobich (wind instruments, Belarus), Ani Bekjanian (solo performance, Gyumri), Yerevan State Conservatory Piano Quartet (chamber ensemble), Ahmad Yahyazadeh (national instruments, France), Arman Khachatrian (national singing, Yerevan). As well as the grand prix, first, second and third prizes in each category and age group were also awarded. Other participants received titles of laureate of the contest and diplomas. The jury of the festival also awarded special prizes to individual participants. Promotion of classical art, creation of new ties, strengthening and expansion of the scope of cooperation, spreading of the Armenian culture and creation of new opportunities for young and talented musicians are just some of the goals pursued by the organizers of this contest festival. The Gyumri Art Academy, built by the Armenian General Benevolent Union in 1997, houses the Gyumri branches of the Film and Theater State Institute, the Yerevan State Conservatory and the Yerevan Academy of Fine Arts. For years the AGBU has provided scholarships to the talented and needy students of the academy and continues supporting the academy up to now.



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