The Karabakh Chamber Orchestra’s (KCO) fame has extended beyond the borders of NKR and Armenia. Last August, under the initiative of the Fridtjoff Nansen Foundation and with the support of AGBU, KCO performed several concerts in Norway. This year, on April 22, at the invitation of Aram Khachaturian Foundation Director Gagik Gabrielian, the 16-member Karabakh Chamber Orchestra, led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Gevork Muradyan, performed at the Large Auditorium of the Central House of Literature in Moscow. The concert was dedicated to the 200th an-niversary of the Gulistan Treaty (1813), WWII Victory Day and the reopening of the restored Shushi Gallery. The evening was organized by the Union of Armenians of Russia and the Permanent Representation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in Moscow. At the concert, while addressing the audience, Maestro Muradyan thanked AGBU President Berge Setrakian and NKR Minister of Culture Narine Aghabalian for making this tour possible. AGBU supported the orchestra in traveling to and performing in Moscow. Pianist Anahit Nersisyan, soloists Irina Zakiyan (soprano), Alexander Vardanyan (baritone) and Tsovinar Mnatsakanyan (soprano) from Armenia, as well as Termine Saryan, Sona Arshakyan and the prestigious Gnesinsky Music Academy Choir, under the leadership of Karine Avetisian from Russia, also performed. The concert featured pieces by Khachaturian, Babajanyan, Komitas, Kanachyan, Mirzoyan, Schubert, Bach, Tosti and Curtis. The concert concluded with KCO and all the other perfomers together presenting Charles Aznavour’s famous For You, Armenia. The Aram Khachaturian Foundation was established in 2002 by Karen Khachaturian, the famous composer’s son, President of New Names of Armenia festival Silva Mekinyan and Gagik Gabrielyan, as part of the initiatives celebrating the 100th anniversary of the great composer. The Treaty of Gulistan, a peace accord to end the Russo-Persian War, was signed between Imperial Russia and Persia on October 24, 1813, in the village of Gulistan (in Karabakh’s Shahumian Region). Among other points, this treaty confirmed that Russia took control of all the khanates, including the Karabakh khanate. The Karabakh Chamber Orchestra was established in 2004 by the initiative of then-NKR President Arkady Ghukassian and the financial support of AGBU, which continues to this day. The orchestra has played a huge role in the cultural development of NKR by performing monthly concerts in Stepanakert, bringing together thousands of lovers of classical music in the country.

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