NEW YORK — “It is 7:50 p.m. on a Friday night in the small New York City apartment of the Armenian-American concert pianist Kariné Poghosyan. The artist is about to play her 99th Facebook Live Mini Concert since Friday, March 20, 2020! The repertoire this week is Liszt’s Rhapsody Espagnole. The routine is like clockwork by now, since for 98 Fridays previously, at about this time, she prepares her tripod and her old iPhone X, all the while putting on the special outfit of that week, doing her makeup, typing up the description box that will go on Facebook, and about 5 other little things.
And then, at 8 p.m. ( or just a bit after) she sits at her old 1925 Boston Chickering, presses the “Start Live Video” on her phone, and it’s Showtime! One by one, her loyal followers start tuning in from all over the world, typing up warm hellos and heart emojis in the comments. She greets them warmly, spends about 3-4 minutes sharing fascinating insights on the program of the day, and then starts the performance. And just like for that brief period of 20-25 minutes, her listeners are transferred far away from the stressful news and daily challenges, coming together with fellow music-lovers they’ve never even met, to be inspired and reenergized! Then before you know it, it comes to a sweet end, the artist waves a few warm hellos and signs off till next week.
Except, on March 25, she hit the mark of 100 concerts and she has decided to retire the series.
Poghosyan understandably has bittersweet feelings about this chapter ending. Yet, she is also grateful for what performing these series brought into her life – the gift of connecting and experiencing glorious music together with so many people from all over the world. Their comments about the impact and positive change of these series on their lives proved how, as Beethoven once had said, “music can change the world.”