LEXINGTON, MA — A full house of supporters gathered at the residence of Charlie and Hrip Minasian in Lexington to attend the annual benefit of the YerazArt Foundation, a dinner reception and private concert held on November 17. YerazArt Fellows 20-year-old pianist Nara Avetisyan, and 23-year-old cellist Vardan Gasparyan displayed their talent in a repertoire that spanned Komitas, Babajanian, Bach, Rachmaninov and Shostakovitch. Nara, who participated in the YerazArt North American concert tour in 2007, is currently honing her craft at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the guidance of Prof. Sergei Babayan. Vardan, who took part in the 2008 YerazArt concert tour, is pursuing his education at the Colburn School Conservatory in Los Angeles. They both expressed their gratitude to the YerazArt Foundation for opening up such opportunities to them and facilitating their enrolment in these respected institutions.

Nara Avetisyan and Vardan Gasparyan
In her speech, YerazArt Executive Nicole Hajjar thanked YerazArt co-founders Noubar Afeyan and Raffi Festekjian, for starting the Foundation back in 2006 and supporting it ever since. She went on to explain the mission of YerazArt and how it had evolved over the years to better adapt to the changing needs of classical music and musicians in Armenia. Hajjar highlighted the latest achievements of the Foundation this year: A comprehensive $12,000 Instrument Donation Program (IDP) to benefit the Kapan Arts College and provide much-needed oboes to Spendiaryan and Tchaikovsky Music Schools in Yerevan. Financial and administrative assistance in excess of $7,000 to help young musicians in Armenia enhance their musical education and professional development, also offering them the opportunity to participate in international competitions and to attend master classes from visiting artists. Other initiatives targeted at deserving students of the Yerevan State Conservatory, of whom four received a new instrument each.
The event generated close to $18,000 along with a wave of enthusiasm among the guests. All proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s Instrument Donation Program and other educational initiatives in Armenia.
YerazArt is a Boston, USA-based non-profit organization with a mission to nurture, support and promote young musical talents from Armenia through assistance with professional development, scholarships, instrument donations and the organization of concert tours. To learn more, visit www.yerazart.org.

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