The Tekeyan award recipients: from left, Ara Hakobyan, Sofya Aznauryan, Ashkhen Bakhchinyan representing her husband Artsvi Bakhchinyan, and Bakhdiar Hovakimyan

Tekeyan Awards Ceremony Held in Yerevan

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By Gevorg Gyulumyan

YEREVAN — The Vahan Tekeyan Awards ceremony of the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA), supported by the Shake Tekeyan-Ghazarian Fund of the TCA of the United States and Canada, took place on May 30 at the Tekeyan Center. These annual awards recognize and encourage the best work in various fields of Armenian culture. During its existence, more than 100 worthy individuals have been recognized. This year, Edmond Y. Azadian, president of the TCA of the United States and Canada, was present, along with Rouben Mirzakhanyan, president of the TCA of Armenia, and many Armenian intellectuals and writers.

Ashkhen Bakhchinyan receives award from Edmond Azadian

The event began with a performance of the Armenian Philharmonic’s chamber group. Mirzakhanyan declared that the prizes intend to encourage the creative element to develop Armenian culture further, and announced the four categories of prizes for this year: literature, music, fine arts and drama.

Author Artsvi Bakhchinyan won the award for literature for his novel Aylastantsi Muchik hayastantsin. Azadian, who is the president of the literary jury, declared, “If we judge by current standards, then this novel, without a doubt, lays claim to be a best seller.”

As Bakhchinyan was absent, his wife stood in his stead to accept the price and thank Tekeyan. She said she hoped that Armenians scattered around the world would, like Muchik, the hero of her husband’s novel, finally return home and take care of their homeland.

Rouben Mirzakhanyan

The drama prize was won by Bakhtiar Hovakimyan’s study, Nor Jughayi tatrone, 1887-2017 [The Theater of New Julfa, 1887-2017]. Hovakimyan is one of the best specialist of the history of Armenian theater and can be considered its last Mohican. Jury head Armen Elbakyan praised Hovakimyan’s legacy in his field. Elbakyan said, “Our cultural figures need not only financial aid but also [supportive] behavior for their sedulous labor. For all this is invested in the future. All that is created now has the goal of enriching and insuring those who come after us. This valuable work of Bakhtiar Hovakimyan intends this too.”

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Hovakimyan then greeted and thanked everyone, in particular the organizers of the awards, and declared that with the financial gift he would print his work on Persian-Armenian theater. He also said that today there is no place to publish drama criticism, and expressed his gratitude that the newspaper Azg gives space for this.

Ara Hakobyan won the prize for visual arts for his Arevatsaghikner [Sunflowers] canvas. Painter Karen Aghamyan, who is head of the jury for this category, said, “Ara Hakobyan’s art creates a mood, an intimate social atmosphere. He, I am confident, still will have his distinct voice in the world of fine arts.”

Hakobyan, in giving his thanks, said that this prize was unexpected, considering that he had serious competition for it.

Hagop Avedikian speaking at the Tekeyan awards

Sofya Aznauryan won the music award for her mono-opera Hayastan [Armenia]. Head of the music jury Hagop Avedikian pronounced it a unique work, stating “There lyrics and music find themselves in a quite wonderful fusion. In its result, we receive a very pure musical creation which is based on Osip Mandelstein’s Armenia work and the various testimonies given in his circles. I see complete worship in this work of Armenia. It truly is a valuable work with musical originality of its lyrics.” Aznauryan’s words of thanks concluded the ceremony.

The TCA awards, since 1991, have been given to many noted poets, like Silva Kaputikyan, Lyudvig Duryan, Hrachya Tamrazyan; painters like Varuzhan Vardanyan, Ruben Abovyan, Gevorg Yeghiazaryan; sculptors like Emil Kazaz and Levon Tokmajyan; composer Tigran Mansuryan; song composer Ruben Hakhverdyan; conductors Hovhannes Chekijyan, Kostandin Orbelyan, Eduard Topchyan; actors Vardan Petrosyan, Yervand Manaryan; journalists Hagop Avedikyan, Artur Bakhtamyan; writers Levon Khechoyan and Sarkis Vahakn.

(translated from the Armenian)

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