BELMONT, Mass. — Since its inception almost a decade ago, the YerazArt Foundation has been identifying young, talented musicians from Armenia and helping them to reach their full artistic potential. YerazArt programs offer professional development opportunities and financial assistance to musicians to participate in master classes and international competitions and to perform on world stages. Through YerazArt’s Advisory Board, young Armenian talents also gain access to an extensive network of musicians, in Armenia and abroad, which provides mentoring, career counseling and admission opportunities to the best music programs worldwide.
Over the last few years, YerazArt has also instituted an Instrument Donation Program (IDP), both in Yerevan and in remote regions, with a primary focus on instruments that are in danger of extinction such as the woodwind, percussion and brass instruments. “We are very proud of our YerazArt Fellows and their achievements to-date. We invest significant time and resources in identifying and assisting the most deserving young musicians in Armenia and it is so rewarding to see the results of this diligent effort in the accomplishments of these young, talented musicians,” said Nicole Babikian Hajjar, chair of the YerazArt Foundation.
YerazArt fellow Mane Galoyan, a 21-year-old soprano, received the first prize of $10,000 at the 27th Annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers on February 5, at the Houston Grand Opera, Texas.
Galoyan was the featured artist at the YerazArt Foundation’s Annual Benefit Event this past fall. Earlier in 2014, with support from YerazArt, Galoyan participated in two international competitions: one in Kazakhstan, the 7th International Bibigul Tulegenova Singing Competition, where she also won First Prize, and more recently in China, at the Fifth China International Vocal Competition Ningbo, where she ranked fourth. Mane’s connection to YerazArt dates back to 2009, when she was invited to take part in the YerazArt North American Concert Tour in the fall of that year.
“I am very grateful to YerazArt and feel very lucky and honored to benefit from their support for so many years,” Galoyan said. “I am particularly happy that I was able to develop my abilities and now feel really great on the verge of new challenges.”
Daniel Melkonyan, a 15-year-old trumpet player, was awarded the Bronze Nutcracker, claiming third place at the prestigious 15th International Nutcracker TV Contest for Young Musicians held in December 2014, in Moscow. Forty-nine young musicians had applied to participate in the wind instruments category, of which 19 were trumpeters. Of these trumpeters, only two were selected — one from Russia and one from Armenia. This is the first time in the competition’s history that an Armenian wind instrumentalist is awarded a prize.