It was the 36th anniversary of Musical Armenia at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall sponsored by Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy and the Prelacy Ladies Guild.
The performance started with a technically difficult Bach seven movement suite played a cappella by Cara Pogossian, a gifted scholarship student at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music, displaying her technical prowess, poise and self-confidence.
The program continued with a sweeping, elegiac Beethoven Sonata with the three artists playing together as one, with exceptional virtuosity.
Included in the performance were several Armenian composers, including the master of the Armenian musical spirit, Komitas Vartabed.
Before playing the works of Komitas, Edvard Pogossian poignantly expressed the appreciation of the three artists saying, “We grew up listening and playing the music of Komitas.”
The plaintive quality as well as the joyful spirit of the beloved “Yerkinkn Ampela” was especially noteworthy. Another Armenian favorite was “Ay Vart” by Aleksandr Spendiaryan.
Contemporary Armenian composers were also featured, including Tigran Mansurian’s meditative “Four Hayrens” and Edvard Mirzoyan’s evocative “Sonata for Cello and Piano” displaying the blending of Armenian contemporary and spiritual motifs.
These works displayed the lush and lyrical sounds emanating from talented Edvard Pogossian’s cello, the exceptionally beautiful sound of Cara Pogossian’s viola and the powerful and dramatic playing of concert pianist and Australian native Vatche Jambazian.
The musicians concluded the program with Brahms’ rhythmic and resonant “Clarinet Trio in A minor.”
Honoring the Young Talent
During a special reception after the concert, Archbishop Anoushavan thanked the young performers and declared, “We are lucky to present such superb artists.”
He paid tribute to their “beautiful harmony and their unique performance reflecting the spirit of the composers.” He praised the announcement of Edvard Pogossian, who reminded the concert audience that all three artists were raised with the music of Komitas.
“This is the greatest tribute one can give to their parents,” the Prelate stated proudly. He also thanked the hardworking Musical Armenia committee members including Julie Kedersha, Sophie Khachatryan, Annita Nerses, Varsenne Sarkissian and Levon Tatevossian.
For Anita and John Wolohojian, the concert was “spellbinding.” “The concert committee should be praised for the gutsy programming,” said Anita.
And John who was “humbled by the enormous talent, and humility” of the artists, was “mesmerized” from the first note. “These artists speak to you through their music. These are serious musicians with tremendous potential, and have all the components for a brilliant future.”
Outstanding Artists of the Future
Twenty-year old violist Cara Pogossian was a bronze-medal winner at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in 2017. She was a first-prize recipient at the ASTA California State Solo Competition, and a third-prize winner at the Occidental College String Competition.
Twenty-two year old cellist Edvard Pogossian is a first year artist-in-residence student at the Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, and graduate of the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was the winner of the inaugural Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artists Competition, and has performed widely, including for the First Lady of China.
Twenty-nine year old Vatche Jambazian is an emerging concert pianist who made his international debut in Yerevan at age 16. He was a prize winner at the Los Angeles International Piano Competition, and the Australian National Piano Award. In 2008, he won the Fine Music Station Young Performer of the Year Award. He is currently at the Manhattan School of Music where he is studying in the Doctor of Musical Arts Program.