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A New Prize for Classical Music
The President of the Republic Prize in the field of classical music is a novelty and this year it will be awarded for the first time

The President of the Republic Prize in the field of classical music is a novelty and this year it will be awarded for the first time. Currently the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is collecting applications from the 18-27-year old musicians wishing to take part in the competition. In the nominations of Vocal art and Instrumental Performance the young musicians will be awarded a Prize of $5000 for each nomination donated by the faithful and constant benefactor of Himnadram Robert Boghossian & Sons Fund (France). The deadline for submission of applications is February 28. We asked Sergey Saradjain, the Rector of Komitas State Conservatory and the Chairman of the commission for Instrumental Performance to give detailed information about the new Prize.

- Mr. Saradjian, in 2005 the young artists were first awarded President of the Republic Prizes in the nomination of Music along with those of Literature and Fine Arts & Film. This year, the classical music is removed from that list to be a separate competition with its own Prizes. Why?

- You are right, the nomination of Music is removed from the Youth Prize to become a separate competition. This fact made happy not only me but also all the musicians in general because it is an evidence of the particular attitude of the state officials towards that sphere. We are satisfied by another circumstance as well: the competition is for young performers bringing on additional reactivation in the circles of young generation and stimulating its creative activities to perform and compete, which, in its turn, will develop atmosphere of creativity and reveal new talented individuals.

- The guarantee of the trust towards each competition is the provision of honesty and transparency by the organizers. Moreover, it is quite important in case of young people, who are too sensible, need encouragement and can be easily broken down. What measures are being taken to provide the transparency of the competition and to conduct a really fair selection of candidates?

- We have tried to do our best to achieve full transparency and fairness in the competition. The commission is composed of high professionals and famous musicians whose opinion and appraisal are weighty. The competition will be conducted in two rounds. The first round will be a closed-door audition of coded recordings, that is the commission member listen only to the records and doesnt know who the performer is. The second round will be conducted as an open concert. The best candidates selected in the first round will appear before the commission and everyone wishing to be present at the concert. Thus the audience himself will be able to create his own opinion on the professional quality of performers and make a point of the commission evaluation. The program of competition includes works of various styles and genres.

- At present, another competition is under preparation as well, this time Aram Khachatrians international competition which has already become a traditional one. How are the organizational works going on and when will it take place?

- This is already the third Aram Khachatrians international competition. As you remember, the first one for pianists took place in 2003, then in 2005 for violinists. This year it will be for cellists. I am pleased to mention that this time as well the government allocated financial means for this competition. We have already received the records of the participants playing. This year 10 countries will take part in the competition including Armenia, Poland, Spain, Mexico, France, Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Italy. Besides the geographical expansion of the competition, I have to note the very high level of performance by the participants. We deal with really talented and professional musicians. The competition will start on May 30 and the Gala will take place on June 6, Aram Khachatrians birthday.

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