BELMONT, Mass. —Zangakner Performing Arts Ensemble will present a vocal concert featuring Armenian children from Massachusetts on April 30th at 5:00 p.m. at the Ellsworth Theatre at Pine Minor College in Chestnut Hill.
The new production, intended to pay homage to mothers and to the Motherland – Armenia, will also feature special guest artists from Greece, renowned pianist Jasmin Atabekyan and her daughter violinist Emily Gasparyan, who will join their talents to Zangakner’s for the first time.
“The children at Zangakner are so excited to perform and to renew their strong connection with our heritage and our culture! We invite families and friends to share in our excitement and
enjoy this experience with us,” said Hasmik Konjoyan, artistic director of Zangakner.
Zangakner Performing Arts Ensemble was established in Boston in 2010 by Konjoyan. Its goal is to offer a unique venue for New England children of diverse Armenian backgrounds to preserve their Armenian language, culture and heritage through music and lyrics. At Zangakner, children aged 4 to 13 are trained in voice, movement, improvisation, dance and performance skills. In the process, they learn the value of hard work, dedication and discipline to achieve excellence.
Zangakner’s numerous performances, such as the opening act of the Inga and Anush Arshakyan concert, the Children’s Planet and 2014: A Musical Odyssey holiday musicals, as well as their Christmas and Easter Concerts in New York in 2014 and 2015, have been enthusiastically received by the public.
The ensemble was also invited to perform as guest singers at many major events in the Armenian community both in Massachusetts and in New York.
Zangakner released their first recording, “Timeless Favorites by Armenian Children,” a CD that captures the best of the Armenian song repertoire and helps promote the wealth of the Armenian musical heritage.
Aside from her work with Zangakner, Konjoyan has given concert performances throughout the world, including in Italy, Canada, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and Lebanon. In 2002, she founded Luys Zvart Children’s Choir and produced her first CD that same year. Subsequently, she was offered the position of Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kantegh Children’s Choir. This choir won the Golden Prize at the Children’s Art Competition-Festival in 2006. This was followed by her second CD, “Children to the World,” produced in Germany in 2007.
In 2009, Konjoyan was awarded the “Leading Teacher” designation in Yerevan. She was the founder and manager of the Luys Vocal Quintet, as well as a singer in it. This group recorded and produced two CDs in Germany, “Light to the World “(2003) and “Come to Light” (2004). In 2009 the CD “Luys” was produced in the United States and nominated as “Best Choral Album of the Year” in numerous competitions around the world.
Atabekyan, with a PhD in Piano Performance, is the winner of several international competitions, including France’s prestigious Pierre Lantier — Ober Piano Competition in Paris and the Aram Khachaturian Competition in Yerevan. She has appeared as a featured soloist with the Yerevan Symphony and Thessaloniki Symphony Orchestra on some of the finest stages in France, Greece and Armenia. For the last 10 years Atabekyan has been one of the professors at the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece and the Drama Municipal Conservatory, Greece. Atabekyan recently moved to New England with her husband and their two children.
Fourteen-year-old violinist Gasparyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. At the age of five she moved to Greece with her family where began violin lessons with Marina Shelkova at the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki Prep School. Having recently moved to the United States, Emily has continued her musical educational with New England Conservatory professor Andrew Taylor.
Emily has won numerous violin competitions, including the Young Talents with Orchestra competition in Milan, the Rafina competition in Athens, and the Energy for Life competition in Vienna. She has appeared as soloist with Barlassina Symphony Orchestra in Italy, the European Youth Orchestra in Austria and Switzerland, Salem Philharmonic Orchestra, USA and the Thessaloniki Youth Symphony in Greece. She has taken masterclasses from well-known musicians Yuri Bashmet, Alexander Trostyansky, and Ivry Gitlis. Emily speaks 4 languages, plays piano and guitar, and loves drawing.
The address of the concert is 400 Heath St., Chestnut Hill. For tickets ($25/$30 per person) and information, contact [email protected]