By Gaia Ghazaryan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
YEREVAN – For a number of generations, Armenia has been presenting its musical creations to the world. Composers, performers and orchestras have been awarded with recognition and admiration from established names in the sphere and most importantly, they have received the love of foreign audiences.
The best example of such success is the sensation that the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia brought with its birth in 2005, which later on became the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO). The orchestra was founded by Sergey Smbatyan (the artistic director and principal conductor of the ASSO) when he was only 18. There could be nothing more powerful than young musicians with hearts full of energy and passion aiming towards raising awareness and sharing their inner musical world with the public. During these 15 years since its founding, ASSO managed to receive international recognition, as well as be a part of multiple international festivals, performances and even recordings. It took over the most notable concert halls of classical music such as the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Musikverein in Vienna, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and many more. Their performances have been broadcast internationally as well.
in addition to all the success ASSO achieved, Smbatyan and the orchestra members are contributing to the growth of Armenia’s new generation with the help of various educational and charity projects in universities, schools and orphanages. Smbatyan’s main goal is to educate the younger generation and present the true meaning of classical music to people.
In 2009, the UNICEF Children Orchestra was created with the aim of spreading better understanding of classical music through fascinating performances all over Europe and Armenia. One of the most special and life changing projects ever created for the youngsters took place in September 2016, and was directed by Sergey personally. 1144 Armenian musicians were gathered together from all over Armenia and Artsakh with the same goal: to perform together as one “Generation of Independence” Orchestra and Choir, for the concert dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. That was a unique opportunity given to the young musicians to gain the experience of being a part of an orchestra and express their increasing aspirations for performance.