YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Arno Babajanian Fund–named after the world-renowned 20th century composer and pianist–will organize a piano contest in the year 2000 in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Board of the Arno Babajanian Musical College. Piano students from Yerevan–Gumri–Vanadzor–Kapan and Hoctemberian will participate.
The advocacy of the composer’s creative heritage became a priority task of the Arno Babajanian Fund. The composer’s son–Ara Babajanian–is the president of the Fund established in Moscow in 1990. Among the tasks of this public organization is to study and uphold various cultural traditions and unite all Armenia’s living throughout the CIS.
The Fund organizes festivals–conferences and exhibitions–and works to popularize folk art–support research works–train specialists abroad–and publish literary works.
In 1996–the Fund–in cooperation with the Ministries of Culture of Russia and Armenia–the Armenian Embassy in Russia–Russian TV Company–the Moscow State Philharmonic–Central House of Cinematographers–and the "Silver Rain" radio–organized a festival of Arno Babajanian’s music dedicated to the composer’s 75th birthday anniversary. Vice-Speaker of the Russian State Duma Artur Chilibgarov was chairman of the organizing committee of the festival and well-known singer Joseph Kobzon was the committee vice-chairman.
In May 1996–the Armenian branch of the Fund opened in Yerevan. Renowned public figures and musicians joined this branch. Talking to Noyan Tapan–Executive Director and Honored Worker of Culture Robert Hakobian said that the Arno Babajanian contest of young pianists is organized once every three years jointly with the Ministry of Culture–Youth Affairs and Sports. The 2000 contest will be the third such contest. Alumni of music-schools participate in the contest. The prize-winners are granted monthly scholarships of 5,000 drams. The tradition of holding this contest was established in 1987.
In 2001 Arno Babajanian would have been 80. Hakobian said that a complete set of the composer’s works is expected to be published for that occasion. He urged all businessmen in Armenia and Russia to render financial assistance to the project. The Armenian branch of the Fund is also making preparations for the Arno Babajanian international contest of pianists at the highest level. "If our plans are realized–this contest will be included in the Calendar of International Contests as the first international contest in Armenia. The Calendar is drawn up by the Association of International Musical Contests in Lausanne," Hakobian said.
The management of the Armenian branch of the Fund plans to set up a monument to the great musician in Yerevan and purchase his flat to open a museum there.