NEW YORK — It was a concert with gifted artists who ranked with some of the best in the world. And it celebrated an organization that has championed Armenian culture throughout its 70 years.
On Sunday afternoon, May 21, the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) celebrated its 70th anniversary, presenting a piano trio concert at New York’s Alliance Francaise titled “The Armenian Spirit”. The performance featured internationally famed artists violinist Ani Kavafian, cellist Ani Kalayjian and pianist Orion Weiss.
Warmly welcoming the large crowd, TCA Greater Committee Chair Hilda Hartounian noted that the event “brings to light the importance of upholding the Armenian culture in our community and beyond. Since its establishment 70 years ago in Beirut, Lebanon, the Tekeyan Cultural Association has been a leader in Armenian cultural programming around the globe.”
Coming on stage to enthusiastic applause, the performers opened with Joseph Haydn’s tour de-force Piano Trio Hob XV: 27 in C Major. The festive three-movement piece combined turbulent dynamics with soft delicacy, changes of mood, and a spirited conclusion. The musicians demonstrated their virtuosic talents, playing with great confidence and perfect harmonic balance.
Thirty-four-year-old contemporary composer Mary Kouyoumdjian’s work Moerae, portraying the Fates, the Greek mythological trio, was a work that is basically unfamiliar to concert audiences. The three-movement modern composition musically tells the tale of three mythological women, Clotho, a spinner who spins the thread of life, Lachesis, the measurer who chooses the lot of life, and Atropos, the cutter who cannot be turned, and who at death cuts the thread of life with her shears. Though the work was both volatile as well as melancholic, it rang with much Armenian feeling.
The detailed program booklet described the composer as a first-generation Armenian-American who came from a family “directly affected by the Lebanese civil war, and the Armenian Genocide. She uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, and interest in music as documentary and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.”