Symphonic Friday: Orchestra headed by Spivakov will perform in Yerevan

A rare direct flight from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Yerevan, has brought the CIS (Commonwealth of Independence States) Youth Symphonic Orchestra, headed by the world-famous conductor Vladimir Spivakov, to Armenia, where the orchestra will perform tonight, Friday.


The orchestra, founded three years ago, has five Armenian and five Azeri musicians, who work next to each other. It was founded by the initiative of the CIS Foundation on Humanitarian Cooperation (FHC), and is made up of 108 musicians from 12 CIS countries.

Spivakov, art director and chief conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and the ‘Moscow Virtuosi’ chamber orchestra, stressing that “he has never been to Baku after Sumgait,” says that the orchestra gives an opportunity to open borders.

“The orchestra is based on love, friendship, and mutual understanding among representatives of different nations – Russians, Kazakhs, Armenians, Azeris and Georgians. People are, in fact, different, but it is an ensemble, so its members mutually complete and support each other,” says the maestro, who is beloved in Armenia.

Mikhail Shvydkoy, FHC Co-chairman, says that the orchestra may serve as an example of mutual understanding also for political figures.

“The idea of establishing such an orchestra is very clear – to create something which could serve as an example for political figures, who very often do not come to an agreement. We simply wanted to show that representatives of different nations, cultures, and countries may create a brilliant ensemble,” he says, adding that the idea of founding a musical ‘Caucasian Quartet’, Russian, Armenian, Azeri, and Georgian musicians will perform together.

The former culture ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Armen Smbatyan and Polad Bulbuloglu, also came to Yerevan from Baku on board the plane. In the Azeri capital Smbatyan, who served as Armenia’s ambassador to Russia in 2002-2009, and Bulbuloglu, who still heads his country’s diplomatic mission in Moscow, attended a similar concert of the Orchestra.

Smbatyan has been FHC’s executive director since January this year.

Yerevan is the fourth city of the Orchestra’s tour in CIS countries’ capitals. The orchestra has already performed in Astana, Ashgabat and Baku. Thereafter, the musicians will visit Moscow and Kiev.