The 5th International Renaissance Festival was launched on April 10 in Gyurmi, at the Vardan Ajemian State Drama Theater, under the auspices of RA First Lady Rita Sargsyan. The General Sponsor of the Festival was VivaCel-MTS. The Festival falls within the framework of the Gyurmi - CIS Cultural Capital project. This year’s events were dedicated to the 110th anniversary of Aram Khachaturian’s birth and the 25th Commemoration of the Spitak Earthquake. The Festival was held by the initiative of Pyunik Foundation, RA Ministry of Culture, Gyumri Branch of the Yerevan State Conservatory and Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Plant. AGBU is among the permanent sponsors of the Festival. AGBU Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian and AGBU Armenia Director Arpi Vartanian attended the opening ceremony and concert in Gyumri. During the week-long festival, 2,415 musicians, between the ages of 5-51, and representing 30 countries, performed and competed for the top honors. Prominent performers and renowned artists, including Jean Ter-Merguerian (France), Hmayak and Yelena Durgarian (Spain), Levon Oganezov (Russia) and others, were among the Festival’s jury members. During the closing ceremony of the Festival, the jury bestowed 10 Grand Prizes to participants. The most outstanding performers received 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals, Diplomas and titles of Laureate, and special prizes established in the names of prominent Armenian musicians. The Festival awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as diplomas and laureate titles to 720 participants. In addition to the competition, Festival participants attended or performed in concerts, and had the opportunity to attend Master Classes by famous masters and artists in Gyumri and Yerevan. The Cultural Dialogue conference was held within the framework of the Festival. The guests also visited historical and cultural monuments across Armenia. Arni Guiragossian, an alumnus of AGBU Musical Armenia Program 2012, received First Prize in the Wind Instruments category, for 19-23 year-olds. She also received a diploma for the Best Performer of an Armenian Composer’s Work for her performance of Theme by Gagik Hovunts. Vartanian attended the closing performance and award ceremony held on April 18.

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