In October, a well-known Artsakh group of musicians, led by NKR Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs Gayane Grigoryan, went on tour to Denmark. The group comprised young pianist Anahit Arushanyan (first-year student of the Yerevan State Conservatory), clarinetist Arsen Grigoryan (third-year Conservatory student), flutist Artashes Grigoryan, singer Lilit Safaryan, and accompanist Nadezhda Hakobyan - they are all teachers at the StepanakertMusicCollege. Following is our interview with G. Grigoryan on the goals, results of, and impressions on the tour.
- Mrs. Grigoryan, what are your impressions of the concert and the country itself?
- I think many people are aware that the recent years, our ministry has organized tours of our musicians to the European countries, and this has become a good tradition. The tour to Denmark is the continuation of the policy of cultural dialogue. Last year, the Chamber Orchestra of Artsakh gave a concert in Norway, and this year - in Copenhagen. The project was realized with the assistance of the NKR Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs and DanArmen Danish-Armenian Association. The concert took place at the Center of the Russian Culture and Science. The spectators were our compatriots and the Danes, as it was a joint event. We were received very warmly. Our musicians performed their roles at the proper level. This concert became a kind of the NKR visiting card in Denmark, as it was our first performance. Head of the abovementioned organization Ani Karapetyan noted in her closing speech that it was a discovery for them that Artsakh had such high-level musicians. They liked the concert so much that they expressed their readiness to contribute to the continuation of the tradition. We were honored with a reception at the RA Embassy to Denmark and Norway. An arrangement was achieved with the Ambassador to organize events related not only to the cultural sphere, but also to that of youth affairs.
- On what specific events was an arrangement achieved?
- As it was our first contact with them, so we tried to specify the directions and events, on which we could reach an arrangement and cooperate. Thus, we arranged to inform of any event conducted jointly with DanArmen Association in order to get the possible assistance from the Embassy.
- Could you walk around the city?
- Yes, we were greatly impressed by the Scandinavian architecture. We seemed to find ourselves in the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. It was a miracle. I was astonished by the Danes’ attitude to their ancient monuments – they are proud of their cultural values, both ancient and modern. They display great attention and care towards all this. I’d rather give an interesting example in order you can imagine how they respect their national culture. Denmark stood at the origins of creating the European Union. But, when a single currency - Euro - zone was created, they didn’t join it, wishing to preserve their national currency – the Danish krone. The national consciousness of the Danes is very high, and there is nothing to be added. We were lucky to see the castle of Prince Hamlet, to learn about how Shakespeare’s idea for this work was born, and how he wrote it. We made sure that culture is the area for the Danes, which stands above other vital areas, even politics. This convinced us of the fact that there will be no obstacles or barriers in communicating with European countries, in particular, with Denmark. I think that our Ministry’s policy of rapprochement and communication with the European culture is correct, and it will give positive results. And our fears that we could be not accepted or understood were wrong.
- Your story about the national consciousness of the Danes is very impressive. And what did our musicians perform at the concert? Wouldn't it be right to present the Armenian musical art in Europe and the European one - outside Europe?
- The concert program included works of European and Armenian composers. To be frank, we did it to clarify what music is preferred there...
- Usually, it is interesting for representatives of one nation to familiarize with the cultural heritage of another.
- The ministry is elaborating corresponding programs for ensuring the participation of our musicians in various international projects. Among similar bright programs is Tnjre festival, in the framework of which our musicians are given the possibility to present themselves.
- I mean if a folk song or a piece of music is well performed, for example, at the festival Tnjre, then it will impress the representatives of other nations, and they will promote our national music in their own countries. And the program of Artsakh people's favorite festival will be enriched by another bright work.
- Currently, the ministry is elaborating programs aimed just at this. And one more important issue... To date, there are very few sources of information about our culture and national heritage. And it would be nice if, when going on tour, we had a rich information material with us. It would be another means of propaganda and presentation of our country. Recalling our trip to Denmark, I’d like to note once again that we presented ourselves in the best way and established cooperated. As a result, the best young musicians from Denmark and Norway will come here to participate in Tnjre festival, and our talented boys and girls will participate in the upcoming projects there.
Today, the ministry is elaborating different projects on developing relations with foreign countries. And experience proves that we are on the right track. Taking the opportunity, I’d like to express my gratitude to the leaderships of Yulanda Post newspaper and DanArmen organization, as well as to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to Denmark and Norway for their comprehensive assistance.