By Florence Avakian
NEW YORK — For the multitude of guests who ventured to the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral Complex and Diocesan Center on the evening of Thursday, October 7, it was a festive homecoming: a resumption of the vital Armenian community life that had been curtailed in response to the pandemic.
Bishop Daniel Findikyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, presided over the reception honoring the newly appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the New York City Opera, Constantine Orbelian.
Some 100 attendees showed their delight in seeing each other, and celebrating Maestro Orbelian’s prominent new role in New York’s cultural landscape.
As the guest of honor entered Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium, he was greeted with hugs and words of welcome by many who have known him for years. Orbelian, who always exudes warmth and joviality, showed his happiness to be among fellow Armenians.
The renowned musician is a person who bridges different worlds with utter ease. Born in San Francisco to an Armenian father and a Ukrainian-Russian mother, he was drawn to music naturally, and started playing the piano at age three. He debuted with the San Francisco Symphony when he was 11, and later graduated from New York City’s Juilliard School of Music.