15th international TV contest Nutcracker (Shchelkunchik) took place in Moscow, Russia, December 2nd-9th. Two Armenians, 14-year-old trumpet player Daniel Melkonyan (professor G. Sargsyan) and 12-year-old violinist Paulina Sharafyan (professor Al. Kosemyan), both from Yerevan’s Tchaikovsky Music School, participated in the contest with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. The final concert took place at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Music Hall on December 9th. Winners of the three main categories included Daniel Melkonyan who won the Wind Instruments “Bronze Nutcracker”. Pauline Sharafyan received a contest certificate. This year 49 young musicians had applied to participate in the wind instruments category. Out of 19 trumpeters, only two were chosen to participate – from Russia and Armenia. Throughout the whole contest Daniel’s scores were the highest in his subgroup. However, at the final stage flutist Veronica Vinogradova and saxophone player Georgi Jishkariani surpassed him. Daniel was born in a family of musicians. He started playing the trumpet at the age of 7. He is Armenia’s first representative in Nutcracker’s wind instruments category. Among those who supported Daniel to represent Armenia in the contest was the Armenian General Benevolent Union. Two years ago, AGBU had also supported another participant, violinist Diana Adamyan, who went on to win second place at Nutcracker. “I had heard a lot about this wonderful contest. My participation was an important step for me. I wasn’t worried at all and I enjoyed every stage of the contest”, said Daniel. Pauline Sharafyan, the second representative of Armenia in the international contest, was also born into a family of musicians. She started playing the violin at the age of 6 and currently studies at the Tchaikovsky Music School. Pauline has already performed in New York, Tbilisi and Yerevan and was the recipient the gold prize at Gyumri’s “Renaissance” festival. She is the daughter of composer Vache Sharafyan. The Nutcracker contest was established by Russia’s Kultura (Culture) TV Channel for talented musicians under 14.