Aram Khachaturian Museum in Yerevan Combines Innovation with Tradition: Video Report -
Aram Khachaturian Museum in Yerevan Combines Innovation with Tradition: Video Report
Armine Grigorian, the director of the Aram Khachaturian Home Museum in Yerevan, holds her smartphone over Khachaturian’s image on a notebook, and the image livens up. Using the Arloopa application, created by Armenian IT specialists, the museum features a variety of hi-tech solutions that make the display interactive and contemporary. Using his/her phone, the visitor turns from a passive viewer to a participant, somewhat similar to what is happening at the Smithsonian museums of the United States.Aram Khachaturian“The home museums are a specific type of a museum, where the authentic atmosphere needs to be preserved. Having said that, we need to keep abreast with the time. Therefore, it is important to bring in innovations like smartphones, applications, or QR codes, without which it is hard to imagine our life now,” says Armine while we walked through what used to be Khachaturian’s home, looking at QR codes that were placed next to the acclaimed composer’s black-and-white or colored images, clothes, and other items on display.A T-shirt with a QR code and an image from Khachaturian’s Gayane balletPerhaps the most known music of Khachaturian is the Sabre Dance from the “Gayaneh Ballet,” on account of which the Armenian composer was sometimes nicknamed Mr. Sabre Dance in the West.
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“According to UNESCO’s statistics, the Sabre Dance is one of the most performed classical music pieces in the entire world. Khachaturian wasn’t very happy about it. He remarked, ‘If I knew that this naughty kid of mine was going to cast a shadow over my other musical works and push them aside, I might not have even composed it,’” said Armine, placing her Samsung over an image that activated a YouTube link with a clip of the Sabre Dance.
The high-resolution photos on the walls feature Khachaturian’s international travels ranging from the United States to Argentina, Cuba, the Vatican, and elsewhere. “He visited nearly 50 countries; he was the first Soviet citizen to meet the Pope. It happened before the USSR and Vatican established diplomatic relations,” continued Armine.Aram Khachaturian meeting Pope John XXIIIOpening the Magical Music Catalogue with notes initiates the playing of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in the hall. The innovations will not stop here. “We know that before this house was built for Khachaturian in the 1940s, he would stay at what is now Grand Hotel Yerevan. The museum has reached an agreement with the hotel, and soon, on June 15, we are planning a surprise event at this 5-star hotel,” noted the director.Get the Mirror in your inbox:
The museum holds the copyright of a rare recording of the notable composer singing in the Armenian language. The curator played this unique recording for us while the director continued her story regarding upcoming plans. The translation and publication of Aram Khachaturian’s letters in English is one of many projects.
June 6 marked the 119th birthday of the best-known Armenian composer. After a visit to his grave at Komitas Park in Yerevan, the museum’s officials hosted a gala concert of young Armenian musicians organized jointly by the museum and Yerevan’s mayoral office. “Fifteen schoolchildren from eight musical schools of the capital participated. This was the 43rd annual traditional concert of young musicians,” noted the municipality’s press officer on phone. The traditional galas started the following year after composer’s death in 1978.Samuel Dave Abraham Budhy of Indonesia and Marina, his music teacher from the Spendiaryan Musical SchoolAt the event, Serop Goroyan dedicated his “Memory” musical work to the memory of his teacher and Artsakh Defense Army officer Menua Hovhannisian, killed in combat during the 44-day war of 2020. Among the participants was Samuel Dave Abraham Budhy, a Yerevan-based Indonesian. “I love music, and I love chess; that’s why I resettled from Indonesia to Armenia two years ago,” said Samuel, in decent Armenian. His mother Anna added that they were looking for a friendly country with good traditions in both music and chess and eventually chose to come to Armenia, where Samuel attends both chess classes and the Alexander Spendiaryan Musical School.The gala concert of young musiciansAn international competition of cellists named after Aram Khachaturian kicked off on the same day. With 19 participants from Armenia, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, and other countries, it lasted for about a week. The winners were announced on June 13: Ettore Pagano (Italy) took the first prize, followed by Yo Kitamura (Japan) and Ivan Sendetckii (Russia).
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