Genocide 100: Musicians plan concerts under ‘I Remember and Demand’ slogan

Cellist Alexander Chaushian will hold a concert with the slogan “I Remember and Demand” today in the Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet after Alexander Spendiarian with the participation of the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra (ANPO) and Alain Altinoglu, a conductor of Armenian descent.

Alain Altinoglu, a regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses (the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Staatsoper Wien, Opernhaus Zürich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and all three opera houses in Paris) is in Armenia for the first time. In April he will conduct the Requiem Mass by Mozart in the concert devoted to the Centennial of the Genocide.

The ANPO artistic director and head conductor Eduard Topchjan introduced Alain Altinoglu to the reporters saying that he was surprised by Alain’s fluent Armenian.

“When I called him he said “Hello, I am Alain Altinoglu.” I was astonished,” said Topchjan, who was not previously acquainted with the young conductor.

Forty-year-old Alain Altinoglu of Armenian decent was born in France. He said he speaks Armenian to his son at home, his wife is French, understands Armenian but does not speak it. As for his surname he said, “It also has its story. Our surname is Altunian, and in 1934 when the Turks made Armenians change their surnames, we also had to change to Altinoglu. This does not mean anything, I know that I am an Armenian, I am Armenian in my heart.”

In regards to the cooperation with the ANPO he said that they already held one rehearsal and he is pleasantly surprised by the professionalism of the Armenian musicians.

“Eduard Topchjan has his big role in all this. It is a mere pleasure to work with him,” he said.

Cellist Alexander Chaushian was born in Yerevan in a family with rich musical traditions. Currently he is the artistic director of the Paros Chamber Music Festival in Cyprus and Yerevan International Music Festival.

The ANPO main mission and direction of actions for this year is publicizing the Armenian question, remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in the whole world.

The Orchestra will hold concerts through April 10-15 in three Scandinavian countries within the Centennial of the Genocide under the slogan “I remember and I demand” with Eduard Topchyan’s leadership; on April 11 – in the homonymic concert hall in Tampere (Finland), on April 12 – in the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen (Denmark), on April 13 – in Myuzikens House Olborg (Denmark), and on April 14 – in the Cathedral in Oslo (Norway).

Concerts will take place with the support of the Ministry of Culture, as well as with the support of the Armenian Embassies to Denmark and Norway. On April 9 the Philharmonic will present to the Armenian audience parts of the concert to be held in Norway with the participation of famous pianist Marianna Shirinyan, performing parts from the Spartacus ballet by Aram Khachaturian, the Piano Concerto by Edvard Grieg and Symphony No. 6 by Tchaikovsky.