Gagik Gasparyan: “We waved the national flag of Artsakh in Patagonia”

The Buenos Aires Chapter of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) became the first to respond to the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement launched by the RA Ministry of Diaspora and immediately took action to make the movement popular.

The concert series has already been launched, and Hayern Aysor’s correspondent talked about the series and other related issues with the artistic director for the concerts, Argentina-based Armenian musician, Honorary Member of AGBU Argentina Gagik Gasparyan.

Hayern Aysor: Gagik, how is the concert series going?

Gagik Gasparyan: As we have already mentioned, the concert series is organized by AGBU Buenos Aires Chapter and is part of the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement launched by the RA Ministry of Diaspora. The organizational issues are coordinated by Honorary Member of the AGBU Central Board, Vice-Chairman of AGBU Argentina Chapter, general correspondent of the concerts Antonio Sarafian. All proceeds from the concerts will be used to purchase musical instruments for schools, kindergartens and cultural centers in Artsakh. We have already donated a piano to the Hovhannes Tumanyan Middle School in the Ishkhanadzor village of the Kashatagh region and two pianos to Kindergarten #4 in Stepanakert.

All the concerts serve as a call for peace addressed to all mankind and to the states hindering exercise of the right of the people of Artsakh to live in peace and safety.

The concerts were launched on May 4 in Buenos Aires, continued in Cordoba on May 6, and another concert was held in New York on June 14.

This pan-Armenian movement is sparking great reactions, especially among foreigners and foreign musicians.

Brilliant evidence of this are the two concerts held in Patagonia (South America), the first of which was held in the hall of the Cultural Foundation of Patagonia in the city of Roca on June 2 and organized with that major cultural foundation.

As a matter of fact, Patagonia is on the tip of the border of South America.

The concert featured performances of the immortal songs of Komitas by a quartet of musicians playing the duduk, the piano and string instruments. I performed with Georgian violinists Vitaly Buzhiashvili and Gela Gelashvili, Argentine violist Kostantsia Juan Bautista, Argentine pianist Marianella Garcia Perez and Ukrainian violinist Elvira Faseva. These talented people are the musicians of the Foundation’s symphony orchestra.

We invited foreign musicians to perform because we wanted to present Armenian culture to foreigners as well. There is no Armenian community in Roca. There are only five Armenians, including Haik Kajberunyan, Sona Harutyunyan, Diana Fermanyan, Armen Grigoryan and Sofya Sargsyan, who are talented artist and very important cultural figures in the city. As Armenians, they also fulfilled the duty of their soul and performed ballet dances during the concert.

We transferred all the proceeds from the concert to the Cultural Foundation of Patagonia as a way of showing the support of the Armenian people to the musicians based in Patagonia and expressing gratitude to the musicians who unconditionally joined the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement without knowing anything about Artsakh.

The next concert was held with the same musicians on June 4 at the Camping Musical Jao-Jao Hall of the city of Bariloche, which is located 600 km away from Roca. As for the number of Armenians living in Bariloche, there are only 20 Armenians, including Alejandro Avedisian, Silvia Choloukian, Gabriel Kalipsian, Karina Kedikian, Aspe Sarafian and Andreas Davitian, who helped organize the concert.

Hayern Aysor: What are your impressions of the concert?

Gagik Gasparyan: I truly have wonderful impressions. I am very glad that we waved the national flag of Artsakh in the distant Patagonia.

We also had a chance to not only present Armenian culture to foreigners, but also talk about Artsakh, Armenia and the Armenian Genocide.

Culture is a powerful force that can help show Armenia and the Armenian people on the world map. The audience was simply charmed by the music of Komitas. They would approach me with smiles on their faces and tell me that the music of Komitas is blessed and that it had had a great impact on their inner world.

Almost all media outlets provided wide coverage of the concerts. I gave an interview devoted to Armenian culture, Artsakh, Armenia and the pan-Armenian movement to Rionegro newspaper, which has 40,000,000 subscribers and even has a website.

Hayern Aysor: Have you thought about what the main mission of the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement is?

Gagik Gasparyan: The major movement launched by the RA Ministry of Diaspora first and foremost fosters the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora relations and the consolidation of the few Armenians living in distant cities. It also helps them get to know each other, as was the case for the Armenians of Roca and Bariloche. You simply had to see how excited our compatriots were. They stood by my side until the end and helped organize the concerts with willingness.

One of the achievements of the movement is that it makes many foreigners want to visit Armenia. When they learned about Armenia, they were very impressed and expressed the desire to see our country.

In general, I always urge foreigners attending the concerts to visit Armenia and Artsakh, which are heavenly lands.

The concert series continues. On August 10, I will perform with dudukist, hobo player Saro Danielian and the symphony orchestra in the Argentine city of Salta. There will also be concerts in Chile and Brazil.

The concerts are expected to feature performances by about 200 foreign musicians, including the musicians of the symphony orchestra of Salta. I think this can be considered a serious achievement as well.

We are impatiently waiting for the big concert, which will be held in Armenia in September and will wrap up the events of AGBU Buenos Aires that are being held as part of the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement. The concert will feature performances by the State Orchestra of National Instruments of Armenia led by Norayr Davtyan, the State Dance Ensemble of Armenia and well-known singers.

Interview by Gevorg Chichyan

Scroll Up