by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Armenian Mirror Spectator
GYUMRI, JULY 20, 2023 — On June 18, 2023, a historic concert took place in the Gyumri branch of the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan. It was the first time in the Conservatory’s 25-year history that it had showcased a harp concert. The solo concert featured Hasmik Mkrtchyan, a second-year student in the string department. The talented harpist, who studies under Prof. Gayane Harutyunyan, performed in the small hall of the Conservatory. Her program presented a varied repertoire: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude No. 2, L. Conconi’s Prelude No. 19, a 17th-century composition by an unknown author, Mikhail Glinka’s Nocturne, George Frideric Handel’s Prelude and toccata, and Théodore Dubois’s Fantasia.
Hasmik’s exceptional performance created a warm and inspiring atmosphere, and captivated the audience. It also brought back fond memories of the moment two years ago when the German “Ars Musica” Choir and the Mirak-Weissbach Foundation presented the harp instrument to the Gyumri Conservatory. The Conservatory had wanted to offer instruction in the harp and needed a quality instrument. On the initiative of Alexan Ter-Minasyan, Honorary Consul of Germany in the Shirak and Lori regions, contact was made with the two institutions in Germany, who then combined efforts to raise funds for a Venera Grand Concert Harp. (https://mirrorspectator.com/2021/08/26/ars-musica-brings-grand-concert-harp-to-gyumri/) This gesture of generosity touched the university community deeply, evoking profound gratitude and appreciation.
(Material for this article and photos courtesy of the Gyumri Conservatory)