Beatrice Ohanessian

Spring Piano Recital at ACF to Pay Tribute to Baghdad Barcarolle


ARLINGTON, Mass. — The Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF) presents noted pianist and educator Anahit Truzyan in concert on March 26 at 6 p.m.

Truzyan is a pianist with undeniable talent and dedication to her craft, with a master’s degree and post-graduate degrees from Komitas State Conservatory. She has performed in the US, the Middle East, Armenia, and Russia.

In the United States, Truzyan pursued an artist diploma and continued to perform at various venues. She also served as a pianist and organist for church services. Her performances are breathtaking, manifesting a deep understanding and emotional depth of music.

Truzyan’s contributions to music go beyond just performing. She is also a dedicated instructor with a private practice in the greater Boston area where she has inspired and mentored students of all ages and levels of experience.

Also, featured in the program are two child prodigies, siblings Rebecca Lai (14) and Timothy Lai (12) students of Truzyan.

Rebecca Lai is an eighth-grade student at Lexington Christian Academy. She began her journey with the piano under the guidance of Truzyan at the age of 5. She has honed her skills and developed a strong technical foundation. With her unwavering dedication and hard work, she has won several awards including the First Place Honor in Crescendo International Competition and the Silver Award in the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented (AADGT) International Young Musicians Festival. Besides playing as a soloist, she also performs in various chamber ensembles and collaborates as an accompanist in different chorales. Since September 2022, she has been studying at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

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Timothy Lai is a seventh-grade student at Lexington Christian Academy. Like his sister, Timothy began studying the piano at the age of 5 with Truzyan. Timothy’s exceptional musical sensitivity and quick absorption of new material is truly remarkable. He has won the silver award in the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented (AADGT) International Young Musicians Festival. Besides piano, he also plays trombone and performs with different ensembles.

The Lai siblings have performed in various recitals and festivals throughout the Boston area, such as the New England Piano Teacher Association (NEPTA) recitals and Passion of Music Festival at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

The recital is dedicated to the memory of Baghdad Barcarolle, as the late Beatrice Ohanessian, Iraq’s foremost classical pianist, was known. Born on March 15, 1927 in Baghdad, Ohanessian received her early music training from the Institute of Fine Arts majoring in piano. Later, she continued studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with professor Max Pirani. Four years later, she earned her LRAM (Licentiate from the Royal Academy of Music) in performance and pedagogy, with a major in piano and a second major in voice.

Born in Baghdad, Ohanessian took up music as a youngster, studied in London and New York, and went on to become pianist for the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. After receiving a Fulbright Scholarship, she continued her higher education at Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Upon returning to Iraq, Beatrice was appointed the head of the piano department at the Institute of Fine Arts in Iraq. From 1969 to 1972, Beatrice taught at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. Then she spent the next two years teaching in Geneva and performing as a soloist through Switzerland.

In 1994, moved to the United States and settled in Minneapolis-Saint Paul with her siblings. In 1995, Beatrice resumed teaching at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College as well as the University of St. Thomas. She also served as the organist for the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Paul. Ohanessian died of cancer on July 17, 2008, in Bloomington, at the age of 81.

The program will include works by Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. The event is free, open to the public and will be followed by a reception. The ACF is located at 441 Mystic St., Arlington.





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