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Opening of the "Return" Festival
In the Aram Khachaturian Great Hall of the Armenian Philharmonic, the Sixth International "Return" Festival, organized by the Gallery of Arts Foundation and headed by the festival's founders, Mariam Shayinyan and Garik Nazaryan, opened with a real gem: the renowned Israel Camerata Jerusalem, conducted by founder and music director Avner Biron, delighted the Yerevan audience, that had the pleasure of meeting them for the first time. The concert excelled in a carefully selected, manifold program, a high quality performance and left the audience with an unforgettable experience.
The first part of the concert consisted in its entirety of the music of the Viennese classical composer Joseph Haydn. The interpretation of Symphony No. 49 aptly brought to light the ensemble's artistic potential: a wonderful sound, harmonious unity, a well-polished finish and good articulation by the strings. The conductor, Avner Biron, revealed himself as a sensitive, experienced musician with a broad musical education. Maestro Biron led the orchestra with great leadership and managed to bring out the best from his ensemble.
The soloist of the Concerto for Cello by Haydn was Armenian-born Cellist Levon Mouradian, the winner of prestigious international competitions. His playing was characterized by a high technical level and a lyric velvety sound that, again, did not fail to please the Yerevan audience.
The second part of the concert opened with "Prayers", a composition by the contemporary Israeli composer Noam Sheriff. The oeuvre, a combination of traditional Jewish melodies with contemporary means of expression, was very touching and enabled listeners to get a glimpse of Israeli contemporary music.
The concert ended with Antonin Dvořák's well-known romantic piece Serenade op.22, rich in contrasts between the lyric and the dramatic and was received with great enthusiasm.
The usually quite critical audience of Yerevan did not let the orchestra leave the stage and was finally rewarded with an encore: the scherzo and finale of Mozart's Symphony No. 29, excelling in luminescent sound and brilliant bowing.
The concert was attended by Armenia's First Lady, Mrs. Rita Sargsyan, Minister of culture, Mrs. Hasmik Poghosyan, many guests from abroad, the Armenian elite and hundreds of music lovers. This assembly won an unforgettable aesthetic experience with the performance of the amazing Orchestra from Israel, the Israel Camerata Jerusalem. We do hope that this is not going to be the last encounter between Israeli and Armenian musicians and that the partnership will continue. Later this year the Orchestra plans to perform in Israel music by Armenian composers.