A Grand Piano – A Lesson to Learn
Benevolence; it is the act of giving, and undoubtedly, of receiving . The Spitak earthquake, Artsakh war are well behind us, as are those that became homeless and orphaned overnight. The break-up ofThe Spitak earthquake, Artsakh war are well behind us, as are those that became homeless and orphaned overnight. The break-up of the Soviet Union and economic blockade led to a similar legacy of deprivation from which we are still suffering – collapse of social services, health and mass unemployment. The government, donor and civil society organisations are playing their part in trying to alleviate this suffering, whereas individuals who want to help deprived people here in Armenia need a focal point through which they can channel their generosity.
Benevolence is never small or big; it is the act of giving, and undoubtedly, of receiving. This is what we witnessed at the Vanadzor Art School named after Tigran Chukhajyan when accompanied Mr.Arnold Bernardi, the benefactor there: the grand piano, glamorous and shining white on the stage of the semicircular concert hall, is the result of such generosity. For those playing it, the elegant instrument creates mood, atmosphere, great feeling, which can’t but be passed onto the audience and have nothing to do with deprivation. Very much the opposite, they talk about better times, better conditions for living and schooling, and help forget times of hardships and misery.
For the last 15 years The Armenia Fund has acted as a tool for those who reached out their hands to make a difference. Through their generous donations The Armenia Fund constructed and improved hundreds of kilometres of roads, water and gas lines throughout the country, not to mention some 400 apartments and many residential buildings in the earthquake zone. But along with all that, there has also been this German Ritmüller grand piano donated by the Bernardi family from Los Angeles and presented to the school through The Armenia Fund US Western Region Affiliate. The Iranian Armenian doctor Bernardi made the donation in memory of his late wife Rouzan Bernardi, a pianist. And it is not by chance that the piano was given to the Vanadzor Art School which was constructed in 2003 with funds from the Armenian Diasporans in San Francisco through the US Western Region Affiliate of The Armenia Fund. It was not by chance that the same San Francisco benefactors sponsored the purchase of a second white grand piano enabling young pianists to appear on the stage in pairs.
A wonderfully well-maintained school building with its remarkably skilled and accomplished team of teachers and some 250 bright and talented students – there couldn’t be a better home for the pianos. And the idea that comes to one’s mind instantly is, “Benevolence, very much like this that warms one’s heart and brings joy to one’s mind, is an investment in people in the long run.” There might be a lesson to learn here.
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