It is undoubtedly impossible to outline the overall image of the formation and development of the Armenian cultural life without mentioning the high impact of the Armenian Composers’ Art Festival which is already seven years old. The initiative belongs to the conductor Sergey Smbatyan. The main goal of the festival is to expand the musical art of Armenian classical and contemporary composers, strongly uphold the traditions of Armenian composing school by presenting its every achievement worldwide.
After having numerous concerts abroad Smbatyan has reached to one undeniable conclusion: contemporary Armenian classical music has a big demand not only at home but also out of its borders, the music written by Armenian composers seems interesting and appealing to foreign music-lovers.
“…the Baroque for violin, composed by Edgar Hovhannisyan in 1993, proved that the Armenian music of the 20th century is simple and penetrating, rich and desirable. Armenian musicians charmed the audience with the famous symphony for Strings and Percussion by Edward Mirzoyan (1962)…”
Maties Netter, Berlin
As a result, in 2010 Smbatyan came up with an initiative to found and hold the Armenian Composers’ Art Festival. Smbatyan also serves as the Artistic Director of the Fest. The idea to realize such a project may assertively be considered as very patriotic and brave. The framework of the activities made within the project has initially included digitalization of the scores of all the performed compositions and recording of all the concerts during the festival. This will secure to save the compositions and to escape any obstructions while providing the materials to future generation. Thus, this was the mission and one of the biggest achievements of the project. The Festival is not another entertaining event, but it is a significant one predominantly specified for the professionals and the connoisseurs of the classical music.
Due to its high importance and significant role in the Armenian cultural life the Armenian Composers’ Art Festival is held under the high patronage of the President of RA, Serzh Sargsyan and with the support of RA Government.
Every year this annual festival is dedicated to one of the Armenian renowned composers: Saryan-fest (2010), Babajanyan-fest (2011), Chukhajyan-fest (2012), Romanos Melikyan-fest (2013), Terteryan-fest (2014) and Edgar Hovhannisyan-fest (2015), Mirsoyan-fest (2016), Haro Stepanyan (2017). It is noteworthy that since its establishment more than 300 compositions have been performed (both chamber and symphonic music) by choirs, orchestras and chamber ensembles of Armenia. These projects served as a basis to create online radio since the compositions included were all much sought-after and have already accumulated its specific circle of listeners.