NEW YORK — Noted pianist, composer and ethnomusicologist Sahan Arzruni embarked on a three-week trip to Armenia and Artsakh on May 12. He will teach and perform for students in six towns in various provinces.
“My relationship with music and children is longstanding,” said Arzruni in a recent interview in New York City. “I have been interested not necessarily with children learning music, but also music written for children to play.”
His interest was “sparked” in 1972 when he was asked to record Aram Khachaturian’s two sets of Children’s Albums. “Until then I didn’t realize how masterfully these compositions were put together. And because children play only one or two selections out of the entire set, the beauty of the whole cycle does not come through fully.”
The recordings gave him the “opportunity to play the whole Khachaturian cycle in its entirety and discover the musical arc.” The pianist was then given the chance to present a half-hour radio broadcast on WNYC, New York City’s Municipal Broadcasting System on a weekly basis for five years.
The broadcast was called “Young Musician,” where compositions written by great masters would be played. “I would often invite composers who wrote for children, and we would discuss the material and play during the half hour program.”
Arzruni then started recording these pieces, including works by Bela Bartok, Kabalevsky, and many others. “I identified with this genre of music,” he explained.