LOS ANGELES — At a celebration luncheon held on January 13 in Los Angeles, the Armenian community honored two Armenian musicians, Tigran Mansurian and Constantine Orbelian, on the occasion of their nomination for the prestigious Grammy Awards. The luncheon, which took place at Bistro Garden in Studio City, was attended by a cross section of cultural leaders and music lovers. It was sponsored by Drs. Nazareth and Ani Darakjian, Mrs. Alice Navasargian, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Joyce Stein.
In his opening remarks, the event’s Master of Ceremonies, Prof. Peter Cowe, Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies at UCLA, formally introduced the honorees and encapsulated the achievements for which they have received Grammy Award nominations from the Recording Academy. As importantly, Prof. Cowe highlighted the fact that this year marks the 85th anniversary of the Yerevan Opera House, as well as the 150th anniversary of Armenian opera, which was founded with the operatic masterpiece Arshak II.
Later during the luncheon, Prof. Cowe also presented the biographies of the honorees, detailing their outstanding bodies of work.
Tigran Mansurian, recognized as a People’s Artist of the Republic of Armenia, is a leading composer of classical music and film scores. His “Requiem” has been nominated for the Grammy Award in two categories: Best Choral Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Constantine Orbelian is a globally acclaimed pianist and conductor, and an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation. Since June 2016, he has helmed the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Armenia (the Yerevan Opera House) as its General Director and Artistic Director. His recording of Sviridov’s “Russia Cast Adrift,” featuring the late baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and the State Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, has received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Conductor on a Solo Vocal Album.
Following Prof. Cowe’s remarks, the guests were treated to a musical interlude performed by pianist Artashes Kartalyan.
Subsequently, in the event’s most anticipated segment, Maestro Orbelian was interviewed on stage by “Asbarez” English editor Ara Khachatourian. The lively, highly informative conversation touched on current plans for expanding the activities of the Yerevan Opera House through new musical productions, performances abroad, educational programs, and community outreach; and the need for substantial pan-Armenian support toward the further modernization and development of the Yerevan Opera House, as a dynamic cultural hub and a national treasure.