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Interview with violinist Sergey Khachatryan

-Sergey, you lived in Armenia just for eight years but your knowledge of the Armenian language is fluent and rich. Your image, your way of thinking is Armenian.

-If you see our flat in Germany, you will think you are in your fatherland. Our inner world, our way of thinking and values have been shaped on the warp of fatherland and Armenianism. The family tradition is very strong in us and that’s how we mainly differ from other nations. For example our respect for parents and the devotion between family members are exceptional. There are numerous components in family interrelations which make the nature of the Armenian family complete.

-Was it difficult for you to be adapted to the life of Germany?

-I have never had such a wish, I have never made an effort to look like a German and it’s not because the Germans don’t have virtues. I am just different from them as I am an Armenian and I am proud of my originality. On the contrary, I have often deliberately emphasized those differences. I would remain original, true to my national character whatever nation I belonged to, but the fact of being an Armenian inspires pride in me.

-What are you especially proud of?

-First of all I am proud of the history of our people, its struggles, viability and the effort to preserve its self dependency. I am proud of the values and culture that our people have created. Journalists sometimes ask me to compare Armenia with Germany, the cultural events of these two countries. They are incomparable phenomena as their history and traversed road are incomparable. The fate of our people has been cruel but we are trying to settle our lives. And we can do it as we are a talented nation, we are industrious, we have will and we will never lose our hope.

-You often come to Armenia, play for Armenian audience. Is your return a duty of your soul towards your compatriots and fatherland?

-Coming to Armenia I come home. I never have such a feeling in any country of the world. I will not simulate telling you that Armenia is the most beautiful, that no other country has as beautiful nature as Armenia. The autumn of Canada is more multicolored. France is covered with more green colours, but I come to Armenia, I go to Amberd to see our mountains, our old churches. There is so much strength in our mountains; there is so much pain in our stones. There is so much history in our nature, and it’s my pain, my history. I am a particle of that nature, I come from that nature. I come to Armenia as first of all I need it. Armenia is the only country where people consider that my success belongs to them. I enjoy playing in Armenia as the Armenian audience is warm, receptive and ardent. I always think that people perceive me better in Armenia. I feel the connection which exists between me and the audience stronger in the fatherland. The warmth of relations, frankness and love are always important for me. In Armenia classical music has a very good audience. I admired that in Armenia the young go to the concerts to listen to classical music. In many countries the hall is mainly completed with middle-aged people.

-Sergey, we should have spoken more about your success, your art, but we enlarged on the subject of fatherland automatically. You are very young but you have already achieved improbable achievements in your art. You are a world famous violinist; you have achieved all the possible laurels, you have won the first prizes of first rate contests. And now I would like you to reveal as much as possible the important havens which lead you to the top of success.

-I haven’t had a wish to become a violinist. It was my parent’s choice. They have thought that having four pianists in a family is much. And besides I was shortish and I wouldn’t be noticed at the piano. In a word they decided to take me to the musical school named after Sayat Nova. I began my studies very well as my first teacher of violin Piotr Haykazyan was a good specialist. I began to love the violin after the first concert; I liked the stage. I liked to perform in front of the audience. But I studied in fatherland for a short time as my father participated in the contest named after Bach and got an invitation to work in Germany. My family moved to Germany. I took regular lessons of violin in Frankfurt, and then I studied in the Conservatory of Fritzburgh. I received training from world-famous violinist Rissin who was the student of Bilinski and was a representative of the Soviet school, but then improvising and enriching had created his own school.
I am glad that I have had the good fortune to play the violin but whatever instrument I mastered, I would consider me a happy man for having the opportunity to speak with people in the language of music, to tell them what feelings I have in my soul, what my heart feels.

-And what feelings are there in your soul? What does your heart feel?

-You want me to tell it all through words. Well, I can’t. I am not Charents, I don’t master that art and I will spoil everything after all. I will not give you anything. I am an introvert in nature. I can feel inspired from inside, I can have a storm of feelings but you will not feel anything.

-Maybe that’s the reason you are so generous on the stage and you put so much passion and feelings in your play.

-My first serious success was in 2000 when at the age of 15 I participated in the international contest named after Sibelius and won the first prize. I would perhaps like to mention the success I had in 1997 when by the enterprise of our family friend-Raffi Arzumanyan, I participated in the international contest in Frankfurt and won the first prize. Raffi Arzumanyan, who was the director of a musical school in France, sent my recordings to the authoritative orchestras of different countries after which I got many invitations. In 2005 I participated in the contest named after Queen Elizabeth in Brussels. It’s the most authoritative contest the history of which dates from the 90s of the previous century and the participants of which won Stradivarius’ violin.

-Is there a national accent in your play when you perform let’s say the plays of Bach or Beethoven?

-It can’t be otherwise. Through Beethoven I express my feelings and these are the feelings of an Armenian. For instance, when someone plays Armenian music, I can undoubtedly say whether the player is an Armenian or a foreigner. The soul of Armenianism exists in the works of every Armenian artist. And the higher his art is, the stronger the source of Armenianism is. I am very proud when foreign people speak about my compatriots with respect. We have names standing out on international scales. I had gone to an exhibition in New York and seeing a surname of an Armenian I was very glad. We are special, we are original. And that is fine. We are very viable. We will always have people who will preserve the art and culture in the fatherland and we will have people who will show the world the strength of our culture, the talent of our people. I have a great respect towards those people who lived in extremely bad conditions and created their work of art in their fatherland.

-At this moment while we are talking the soldier of the national army is standing in the front holding the arms in his hand.

-He is the hero of the history. I admire the soldier who keeps the border of my country. Fighting for the fatherland is the greatest heroic deed that a man can do. I would fight for my fatherland, I would certainly fight. The victory of the war of Artsakh is the most important event of the Armenian newest history; it is the victory of the soldier, the victory of the warrior, the protector of the fatherland. We must appreciate the work of the soldier. I am very much thankful and grateful to the soldier.


Category: #06 (922) 16.02.2012 – 22.02.2012, Spiritual-Cultural