Tatev Amiryan: “The most precious and the most familiar corner in the world for me is Armenia-the land that gave me life and national belonging”

Most of the compatriots of us Armenians manage to protect and preserve the pearls of Armenian arts and culture, live and let the fans of their arts live with supreme spiritual values, as well as charm and amaze everyone with the everlasting talent of Armenians and stay attached to their roots at the same time. One of those Diaspora Armenians is U.S.-based composer and pianist Tatev Amiryan, who has performed on world famous stages and gave an interview to Hayern Aysor.

Karine Avagyan: Dear compatriot, you have fans in all corners of the globe and, obviously in our Homeland. When and what will you perform in the Homeland?

Tatev Amiryan: I have given many concerts in the Homeland and am planning to give a solo concert this year as well. I am also planning on holding a music festival for Armenian women composers that will also feature performances of my works.

Karine Avagyan: Which work do you dream of performing?

Tatev Amiryan: Since I am a composer/pianist and mainly perform my own works, and since I have only performed solos and chamber works, I would really like to perform my concerto for the piano with the accompaniment of an orchestra in the future.

Karine Avagyan: Do you have a musical background, or do you simply have a God-given talent?

Tatev Amiryan: There are no musicians in my extended family, and I was not born to a family of musicians. So, in my case, yes, it is safe to say that I have a God-given talent.

Karine Avagyan: Dear Tatev, could you set aside the concert that you remember the most? Why was that concert the most memorable?

Tatev Amiryan: Perhaps the most memorable concert was the solo concert that I recently gave at St. John’s Armenian Church in San Francisco.  It was my first solo concert in the United States where I performed as a composer and a performer in front of a foreign audience. Until then, I had performed the works of Armenian classical and contemporary composers and improvised on the piano at various concerts.

Karine Avagyan: You are a composer and a pianist. Are you more of a composer or a pianist? In which field do you feel you are more successful and professional?

Tatev Amiryan: Composing has always been first for me since it gives me a great opportunity to express myself. I believe I can consider myself equally professional in both fields since I have been a composer and a pianist for nearly two decades.

Karine Avagyan: Your works are performed by you and others. Whose performance would you set aside?

Tatev Amiryan: As a pianist, I am very meticulous, especially when it comes to the performance of my piano works, and it is not always that I am fully satisfied with the interpretations of other performers. I have collaborated with many renowned Armenian and foreign pianists, and the most successful collaboration has been with Armenian pianist and Merited Artist of the Republic of Armenia Haik Melikyan. As an Armenian pianist, he has the best sense of my music and performs it in the most correct way. I would also like to set aside the performances by American pianist Jeffrey Jacob and Japanese pianist Yuko Yoshioka.

Karine Avagyan: I am aware that you also gave a concert dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Could you tell us about that?

Tatev Amiryan: I have given concerts during the charity events held at Armenian churches in Northern California. I have also delivered lectures and given concerts at the University of Florida and the University of Connecticut as a guest artist. My dissertation, which is an extensive composition for the piano and string orchestra, was also devoted to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. I defended it in 2016 and was conferred the ranking of Doctor of Musical Arts by the University of Missouri.

I must also mention that my work “Waiting For the Dawn” was included in Haik Melikyan’s album “Echoes of Altar”, which is dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and was released in partnership with the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

Karine Avagyan: You collaborate with Merited Artist of the Republic of Armenia, famous pianist Haik Melikyan and have released the DVD called “Ortus” (Source). What songs are featured on the DVD? Could you please give us a historical background?

Tatev Amiryan: I was lucky to start collaborating with Haik Melikyan in 2012 when he offered me to compose a song specifically for him. After that, he has performed my works several times in Armenia and various countries across Europe. Since he was already somewhat familiar with my works and had performed and recorded some of them, we felt the need to combine them in one album. We decided to call the album “Ortus” since it was my first album and symbolized the beginning of something new. The album features all the piano works of the past years in chronological order.

Karine Avagyan: Which composer’s classical, symphonic and jazz compositions are closer to your heart?

Tatev Amiryan: I have trouble setting aside specific composers since there are many of them, but a composer/performer whose music derives from the origins of a nation that I would like to distinguish is particularly 20th century Hungarian composer and pianist Bela Bartok, whom I consider a composer and pianist like me and whose music has taught me a lot. American composer and pianist George Gershwin has also been a big inspiration for me with his unique performances of jazz music.

Karine Avagyan: You studied in the United States and you live and compose in the United States, but where is your heart?

Tatev Amiryan: I consider the United States my second homeland since it provided me with favorable conditions to live and compose and become successful, but the most precious and the most familiar corner in the world for me is Armenia-the land that gave me life and national belonging. Armenia is my home to which I will always return.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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