Festivals like that of Contemporary Classics Composers very rarely take place anywhere: EUFSC head
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 19, ARMENPRESS. The “Contemporary Classics” Composers' Festival was held in Armenia. One of its organizers is the European Foundation for Support of Culture (Malta). We asked Mr. Konstantin Ishkhanov, the President of the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC), to talk about the Foundation.
-How was your Foundation established?
-In my life I closely communicate with professors of different conservatories. After a while, I wished to organize master classes for young musicians and provide them the opportunity of communication with famous musicians, and support young people to learn from the experience of old generation. As a result, the foundation was established targeted to organize this activity at a professional level, and it became a very interesting and prominent activity for me. For example, the Malta International Music Festival, which is approaching its tenth anniversary, was organized.
Being an Armenian, I could not stand aside of spreading the Armenian performing and composing school in the world, and many events are held by the Foundation related to the culture of Armenia. These are both classical music festivals held in Armenia, and the organization of concert tours of many famous, young Armenian musicians, such as Hayk Kazazyan, Nare Arghamanyan, Khachaturian trio and others in different countries.
Of course, the Foundation has special attitude to Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, since it showed itself brilliantly during the Malta Festival, and it was the will of God to increase the collaboration with it. It is very important for me that there are many great musicians in the Orchestra. And the cooperation with Sergey Smbatyan’ team, the Artistic Director of the Orchestra, is also unique as it is really nice to deal with, because everything is done at a high professional, indeed, world level. That is why the artists and guests of the festivals visiting Armenia leave the country with enormous sense of gratitude.
-Who are the members of your Foundation?
-Well-known musicians, both Maltese and international. When we select the artists for participating in our festivals or concerts, it’s a joint and careful selection, control from a musical viewpoint: how good, relevant and interesting it is.
-What would you say about the “Contemporary Classics” Composers' Festival?
-Of course, the festival is very prominent, especially its unique format. But contemporary music is difficult for perception and I see very often half-empty halls in Europe, but in Armenia, despite the fact that there are so many different concerts, festivals held at different stages, during our festivals the halls, as a rule, are either full or overcrowded. Surely, it is a great pleasure to see such an interest of the public and especially youth. And when you see it, you want to hold here as many different festivals as possible.
I am often asked at press conferences in Europe: “Why are you doing so much for Armenia?” In fact, there are a lot of aspects, but I would like to highlight the most important thing - this is the attitude of the state towards classical music and culture as a whole. The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports provides great support in cultural projects of Armenia. And this is very significant as such international projects put forth Armenia as an international cultural country. Most recently, the organizers and participants of the festival had a meeting with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, which, in the given concept, is absolutely demonstrate out the support provided by Armenian government to culture.
In one of the interviews I said that the “Contemporary Classics” festival is very important for Armenia and here I was stopped by Mario Brunello, a famous Italian violinist who said: “No, this is significant not only for Armenia, but the whole world”. Such festivals very rarely take place anywhere. And how good it is that similar projects can be held in such a small country.