Arax Mansourian: “I am so happy that I was able to tell foreigners about the history of my country through song”


March 22nd marked the launch of the Armenian Culture Week in Tokyo at Daikanyama Hillside Terrace. The event is being held with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Japan and is aimed at not only helping the Japanese become more familiar with Armenian culture, but also building a cultural bridge between Armenia and Japan. On March 24th, 26th and 27th, Armenian and Japanese musicians and well-known Soprano Arax Mansourian gave a concert that was held as part of a Armenian music festival.

“The musical program was prepared by Japanese musician Takahiro Akiba, who is a great fan of Komitas’s music. Akiba is Japanese, but he has a great spirit of an Armenian, which deserves appraisal. He prepared the program with his students. Violinist Karen Israelyan was his only Armenian student, and the others were pianist Megumi Nakanomori, violinist Ririko Takagi and cellist Futo Yaname. They all gave brilliant performances,” Arax Mansourian said in an interview with Hayern Aysor.

The program included performances of the works of Babajanyan, Harutyunyan, Baghdasaryan, Mirzoyan and Komitas. The concert ended with performances of Komitas’s songs by Arax Mansourian and with the accompaniment of Takahiro Akiba. However, in response to the audience’s excitement, Arax Mansourian also performed Barsegh Kanachyan’s “Oror” (Lullaby) with the accompaniment of an 18-year-old pianist.

Ambassadors, state officials, as well as public and cultural figures were attending the concert.

“After the concert, many people approached me, expressed their gratitude and cordially expressed their thoughts about Armenian music and the songs of Komitas. The most touching moment was the moment when a Japanese official approached me and said, ‘I was listening to Komitas for the first time. It was so beautiful. It’s amazing, but I got to know the depth, colors, warmth and beauty of the Armenian people through the melodies of Komitas. Thanks to your songs, I also discovered a country that had been foreign to me to this day. I have already decided to visit Armenia’. I am so happy that I was able to tell foreigners about the history of my country and the wise people of my nation through song,” Arax Mansourian said.

Besides the concert, Arax Mansourian also held master classes in Tokyo and Nagano. “I stayed in Japan for eight days. I was very happy and content. You know, it’s not often that I am content with myself. The concert and the master classes were great. I had the opportunity to not only advocate Armenian songs and make them popular, but also help young musicians with my knowledge,” Arax Mansourian concluded.

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