Hayk Hekekyan

Armenian Musician to Compete in Eurovision Contest


If you mention “Eurovision” in Germany, or any other European country, what comes to mind for most people is the Eurovision Song Contest for popular music. This year’s event took place in May, with Swiss musician Nemo winning.

Not everyone knows that there is also a Eurovision contest held for classical artists, which this year will take place in Norway on August 17.

And a musician from the Republic of Armenia will be among the contestants.

The Eurovision Young Musicians, which has been held every two years since 1982, provides the opportunity for talented young classical musicians, aged between 12 and 21, to present their art to a broad stage, and open the way to an international career.

Among previous winners, there have been several who have achieved success on the world stage, including, Julian Rachlin (violin), Natalie Clein (cello) and Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad (viola).

It has been held in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Norway and France. This year it will be held at the Stormen Concert Hall in Bodø, Norway, which is the European Capital of Culture for 2024.

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The event is organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) along with the Norwegian broadcaster, Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK).

The public television company of the Republic of Armenia has participated in this competition once, in 2012. That year, Armenia was represented by Hayk Kazazyan, a young qanun player, who won the third honorary prize.

At the end of last year, Public TV of Armenia (First Channel) decided to rejoin the classical music television celebration-festival in 2024. In Armenia, more than 3,000 gifted young classical music performers from all over the country submitted applications to participate in the selection process. A professional committee selected 214 of them in the first round, then, 30 in the second round, and 10 in the final. The semi-finals, held in April, were organized in a format with three days of concerts, with performances for an Armenian as well as a foreign jury, and the television audience. The young musicians performed with the accompaniment of the State Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, conducted by Harutyun Arzumanyan. Ten of the 30 participants made it to the April 13 finals. The young talents performed under the direction of Sergey Smbatyan and accompanied by the State Symphony Orchestra of Armenia. There were five outstanding musicians in each of the two juries, one Armenian and one foreign, that heard the contestants. In addition, television viewers had the opportunity to cast their votes.

The winner was 18-year-old oboist Hayk Hekekyan, a graduate of the Sayat Nova music school and a first-year student at the Yerevan State Conservatory. Upon receipt of his award on stage from the Minister of Education and Culture, Hekekyan, visibly thrilled, expressed his hope that he would not disappoint the people who placed their trust in him and pledged to do his best to live up to the excellent reputation that Armenian artists have established abroad.

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