By Elizabeth Eckert
BOSTON — On Tuesday, September 17, the Boston University Modern Armenian History and Lecture Series hosted Dr. Beata Navratil for a lecture titled “Poetry in Music: Armenian Sketches.” The event was organized by Prof. Simon Payaslian, Charles K. and Elisabeth M. Kenosian Chair in Modern Armenian History and Literature.
Payaslian welcomed the audience and introduced the speaker. Born in Armenia, Navratil graduated from the Tchaikovsky Special Music School for Gifted Children. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music, and her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the Graduate Center at City University New York (CUNY). She is a recipient of the Gulbenkian Foundation Award, the All-American Scholar Award, and the US Academy Achievement Award.
Navratil has performed in numerous venues throughout the United States and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist.
In her talk, Navratil presented an overview of the relationship between Armenian culture, history, art, and music. Reading excerpts from the poem “Anush,” a love story between two peasants Saro and Anush, Navratil stressed the continued Armenian tradition of connecting poetry to music. “Anush” opera was written by poet Hovhannes Tumanian (1869–1923) and set to music by composer Armen Tigranian (1879–1950).
Navaratil shared with the audience the importance of Armenian folk music and dancing, traditions and rituals, as demonstrated in this case in Armenian village life.