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Drew Peterson, pianist
Josephine Baker

An Armenian Odyssey: The Color of Pomegranates

Produced in collaboration with the Embassy of Armenia

Produced and premiered by PCE March 4, 2020, at the National Cathedral, “Armenian Odyssey” is a unique concert work featuring live animation by Kevork Mourad and music by Vache Sharafyan. The cellist was Narek Hakhnazarian, and Angel Gil-Ordóñez conducted PostClassical Ensemble. It tells a story of diaspora and redemption.

“A pinnacle . . . spectacular” — Charles Downey, Washington Classical Review

“PostClassical’s The Gamelan Experience, in which two gamelan orchestras participated — demonstrating the influence of the Indonesian genre on European and American composers — was named the best classical music event of 2019 by Washington Classical Review. Though that performance was truly a unique spectacle, An Armenian Odyssey matched it as an audience-pleasing expression of the ensemble’s commitment to its brainy, innovative and labor-intensive path.” — Richard Selden, The Georgetowner

To read the reviews in full:

PostClassical Ensemble Fetes Armenian Music and History at National Cathedral

PostClassical Charts and Armenian Odyssey

“Every nuance of this subtle work was lovingly observed, and when he did let rip it was with blazing virtuosity. . .
He could certainly give Yo-Yo Ma a run for his money.”

The Independent (UK)

The “Armenian Odyssey” Festival is presented in partnership with

the Embassy of Armenia

Armenian Embassy Logo300

Festival Underwriter: The Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation, Festival Co-Chairs: Aso Tavitian, Noubar Afeyan

Main Corporate Sponsor: Ameriabank CJSC

SPONSORS
  • Armenian Assembly of America/Carolyn Mugar
  • Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU)
  • Armenian Missionary Association of America
  • Armenian Relief Society
  • Sirpuhi and John Conte Foundation
  • Joe & Joyce Philibosian Stein
  • Vicken Poochikian and Irene Roth
  • Toros Mangassarian
  • Annie Simonian Totah
  • Souren Israelyan
  • Linda Shirvanian
  • Haig Ariyan
  • Nazareth Festekjian
  • Raffi Melkonian/Sevag Poochikian
  • Sarkis Jebejian
  • Souren Hakopian
  • Vartan Gregorian
  • Edward Avedisian
  • Rita Balian
  • Avadis Abrahamian
  • Jacob Bournazian
  • Sabina & Joshua Javits


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Program
Concert

Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 pm
National Cathedral (Great Nave)

Armenian Odyssey (world premiere)

Kevork Mourad creates a multi-media meditation that ponders how crossing cultural boundaries can inspire tolerance and understanding. With legendary duduk master Jivan Gasparyan and Jivan Gasparyan, Jr.; cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan; and composer Vache Sharafyan.

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

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Other Events

ARMENIAN FILM FESTIVAL
February/March:
Freer Gallery (Meyer Auditorium)
National Gallery of Art

Armenian Film Festival

In association with the National Cinema Center of Armenia.
Free admission

A Tribute to Sergei Parajanov

Saturday afternoon, Feb. 29 — 1 pm (Freer Gallery)

-Including a restoration of his masterpiece, The Color of Pomegranates (1969), plus the US premiere of a new restoration of Parajanov Triptych (Hakob Hovantanyan, Kiev Frescoes, Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme)
Also: Kevork Mourad’s Four Acts for Syria (US premiere)
Commentary by: Levon Abrahamian, Daniel Bird, Kevork Mourad

The Film Music of Aram Khachaturian

Sunday afternoon, March 1 — 2 pm (Freer Gallery)

–Including  Zangezur (1938), Khachaturian clips, and cartoons.
Commentary: Peter Rollberg, Joseph Horowitz

A Tribute to Rouben Mamoulian

Saturday afternoon, March 14 — 2 pm (National Gallery of Art)

—Including Love Me Tonight (1932), Porgy and Bess (excerpts), and archival clips.
Commentary: Joseph Horowitz, Kurt Jensen, and Milena Oganesyan

FURTHER INFORMATION ON FILM EVENTS: https://www.nga.gov/calendar/film-programs/armenian-odyssey.html

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What people are saying

So many thanks for that most inspiring, capacious evening. With PCE’s usual ability to surprise and delight… that symphony was astonishing…

Kate

Your leadership and dramatic shaping of the Symphony last night was truly masterful - and so inspiring. I know I’ll never forget this experience. Thank you, Maestro!

Chris

I loved the intimacy of the ensemble and the aching beauty of the melody repeating and recurring and turning up where I did not expect it .  And I found the quality of the sound thrilling.

That was my take on the concert --that and the tears that it brought to my eyes, simply to be there, to be present at the creation of something so beautiful..

Michaele

What a perfect PCE evening, wonderful concert and lovely gathering

Liz

Angel, You are so musical! I've played the 4th twice, it was the first Mahler I heard as a kid, and I'm invariably disappointed that conductors don't let it breathe.  U nailed it.

David

Congratulations again to you and your superb ensemble on a wonderful and provocative performance in the Terrace Theater last evening.  As always, we learned something from this concert and it was fun, too.

Alec

Everything about it was sheer delight, including the lively and interesting talk at the end…

Catherine