BOSTON – Almost 100 music lovers turned out on Friday evening, September 15, for a special musical program in the ongoing concert series at Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Parish Center in Boston. The concert drew on the rich classical musical traditions of Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine and featured some very well established artists from those three countries, as well as some young talent that had been educated both in Europe and North America.
The program was put together as a joint venture by Talents of the World and a new organization based in Boston, Ukrainian Vocal Heritage. The mission of the partnership is to share the uniqueness and beauty of both the vocal and instrumental, particularly piano, music of these people and others with as wide an audience as possible. The idea that is the impetus for the project is that music transcends all boundaries and that during the performances representatives of the different cultures will be able to show off gems of their own musical heritage, and, at the same time, their artistic excellence.
The concert lasted almost two hours without an intermission and the world-class performers sang excerpts from classical pieces as well as folk songs in the three languages. Guest pianists from each of the three groups also performed on the center’s grand piano. In all, eight vocalists and pianists represented the three cultures and an additional accompanist from Talents of the World was added to the mix.
Representing Armenia were: Narine Babadjanian, pianist, who graduated from and plays for the Tbilisi State Conservatory, and has performed in international music festivals all over the world; Vartan Gabrielian, Toronto-born bass-baritone currently attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and a guest artist at the Opera Index Spring Gala in New York City; and Levon Hovsepian, pianist, who graduated from the Comitas Conservatory with honors, has performed throughout Armenia, Georgia, Estonia and Moldova, and was invited to study at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., where he received an artist diploma and a master’s degree with honors.
Representing Georgia were: pianist Merab Ebralidze, who graduated from the Sarajshvili Conservatory in Tbilisi, has performed on the international level throughout Europe and in North America, and is currently on the faculty of the New York Conservatory; and baritone David Gvinianidze, who graduated from the Tbilisi Academy of Music with honors and performed as soloist with the Batumi State Opera. Mr. Gvinianidze is the founder and president of Talents of the World.
Representing Ukraine were: pianist Galyna Kryvanych, who studied at the Solomiya Krushelnytska Ternopil Music College, the Odesa Music Conservatory, and the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, where she earned her master’s degree in musical arts; and soprano Olga Lisovska, who received her musical education in Kyiv, is noted for her wonderful coloratura soprano, and has appeared on stage at the Bolshoi, La Scala and the Met. Ms. Lisovska is director of the U.S. branch of Talents of the World and founder of Ukraine’s Vocal Heritage.
Finally, there was Boris Fogel of Talents of the World, the main accompanist for the Moscow Concert organization for more than 40 years, traveling worldwide and accompanying some of the Soviet Union’s most accomplished artists. A few years ago he authored “A Concertmeister’s Notes,” and today he is in high demand as an accompanist.
The evening’s performance began with “Hoja, Hoja” from the opera “Milana” by Heorhiy Maiboroda sung by Ms. Lisovska accompanied by Mr. Hovsepian, and then piano Prelude Op. 6, No. 1 by Sergei Bortkiewicz played by Ms. Kryvanych.
These pieces were followed by nine Armenian selections, six Georgian pieces and six additional Ukrainian pieces and the concert concluded with Ihor Shamo’s “Kyieve Miy” sung by Ms. Lisovska, Mr. Gvinianidze and Mr. Gabrielian with Galyna Kryvanych on piano. Their rendition elicited a standing ovation.
Following the concert the audience and performers mingled and Ukrainian hors d’oeuvres and pastries were served.
Further information regarding the ongoing cultural performances at Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Parish Center can be found at ukrainiancenter.org. Information on Talents of the World and Ukrainian Vocal Heritage can be obtained at talentsoftheworld.org