CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Erevan Choral Society and Orchestra ushered in the Christmas season with its Annual Christmas Concert on December 10, 2023, in the Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston. The collective, founded in 1966 by Very Rev. Oshagan Minassian, and directed by composer Konstantin Petrossian since 2009, is the only one of its kind in the diaspora, and is a great promoter of Armenian music. Thanks to the group’s longstanding relationships with Armenian composers and performers, many pieces authored by Armenians were premiered and popularized outside of Armenia by this very collective.
The concert began with the Erevan Choral Society and Orchestra. In its usual style, the group’s repertoire consisted of a wide and rich palette. The audience was treated to a high-level performance of Christmas carols, as well as traditional Armenian sacred music.
In commemoration of the 850th death anniversary of St. Nerses Shnorali, his works were included in the concert program, including Aravod Looso performed by the choir and orchestra. And, also for the first time his Nor Dzaghik and Norahrash chants were performed, specially arranged by Petrossian. The audience warmly welcomed the wonderful performances of soloists Rubik Mailian, lyric tenor from Detroit, and vocalist Astghik Martirosyan from New York. The famous guitarist John Baboian brought a special flavor to the performance. Erevan Chorale dedicated its performance of Yegeghetzin Haygagan to the memory of its founder, Very Rev. Minassian.
The repertoire was accompanied by new arrangements of Christmas hymns, as well as the premier performance of the song My Armenia by Seyran Nazaryan, which was warmly received by the audience.
Students of the Holy Trinity Armenian School participated in the program with wonderful recitations dedicated to Christmas, New Year and Armenia. Finally, the festive concert ended with Handel’s Hallelujah.
The evening passed in high spirits, as all the artists brilliantly performed a varied and interesting program. The Erevan Choral Society and Orchestra worked on the repertoire for several months, which undoubtedly contributed to the success of the evening, as did the creative work and dedication of artistic director and conductor Konstantin Petrossian and pianist Nune Hakobyan.