Contact: Sahan Arzruni
215 East 80 Street, #LD, New York, NY 10021-0546
Vox/Fax: (212) 650-0956
February 12, 2004
Master pianist Sahan Arzruni recently gave a benefit concert for the Zibec
Rehabilitation Center in Istanbul, which helps physically and
mentally-challenged Armenian children. The event was part of Mr. Arzruni’s
worldwide concert tour celebrating the centennial of the birth of Aram
The all-Khachaturian program took place at Casa d’Italia, the 400-seat
concert hall of Istanbul’s Italian Consulate, before a sold-out audience
that included numerous dignitaries–among them, His Beatitude Mesrob II
Mutafyan, Patriarch of the Armenians in Turkey, representatives of
foundations, and school principals. Concert-goers were thrilled by Mr.
Arzruni’s dynamic performance, and charmed by his witty recollections of
the great Armenian composer. The screening of an archival film on
Khachaturian’s life occupied the second half of the program.
The benefit raised $6,000 for the Zibec Rehabilitation Center. Established
in 2002 as part of the Sourp Pirgich Armenian Hospital Foundation, the
Center treats some 100 youngsters in a medically advanced, socially
responsible, and physically modern environment. Under the supervision of
eight full-time professionals, and with the active help of parents,
children are given various physical and psychological therapies, preparing
them for the life in the outside world.
TWO CONCERTS IN BULGARIA
Sahan Arzruni’s Khachaturian tour also included two recent stops in
Bulgaria–in the cities of Sofia and Plovdiv–where he gave concerts
organized by the local AGBU chapters.
According to the musician, while the baneful influence of communist rule
can still be seen in Sofia, its European charm and western sophistication
promise a bright future. Mr. Arzruni’s concert in the beautiful Palais de
Culture, organized by Sonia Avakian Bedrosian, the city’s dynamic AGBU
chair, attracted many representatives of the Bulgarian media.
Sofia is a vital Armenian center, which boasts a number of active Armenian
musicians–composers as well as performers–who are well-integrated into
the artistic life of the city, and notably contribute to its culture. In
his visits to the local AGBU center, the Armenian Church, various
organizations and youth groups, Mr. Arzruni recognized a marked desire to
preserve the distinctive Armenian identity.
Plovdiv, the second Bulgarian city on Mr. Arzruni’s itinerary, and one of
the oldest communities in the region, likewise boasts a vibrant society,
where robust Armenian institutions and organizations, together with a
dedicated intellectual elite, keep the Armenian spirit alive and
relevant. Under the able leadership of local AGBU president Mr.
Chavoushian, the Khachaturian concert at the Plovdiv Museum of Art was
covered by the local radio and television.
Sahan Arzruni’s Khachaturian centennial tour will shortly make stops in
Milan, Italy, and in various cities in the Middle East, where the
respective AGBU chapters have organized concerts.