Photo by ARMENPRESS News Agency
Throughout the festival days of July 10 to 28, fans of classical music have a chance to enjoy a good diversity of concerts online, including symphony, chamber and solo performances, with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra featured as the official orchestra of the festival. With the spread of COVID-19 still prevailing as a public threat, this unique music event is held in compliance with all state-regulated security norms. More than 20 musicians have been hosted in Yerevan since the start of the festival to perform at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. The concerts are live streamed at music20.am, the official website of the festival and are available to audiences around the world.
Nikita Mndoyants, a Moscow-based pianist and a laureate of international competitions, is among the soloists of the festival and has shared his impressions of the "Music 20" festival.
-Mr. Mndoyants, a state of emergency has been declared due to the coronavirus pandemic in almost all areas, including the cultural life. I wonder when was the last time you went on stage?
-I had my last concert in February. I was playing Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in the city of Ufa. Later in June I was involved in a so-called "audience-free” recording initiative with Moscow Philharmonic. It was my first “staging” after the pandemic was declared. And this is my second performance, now with an orchestra in Yerevan, for the first time after a long break, sort of a renaissance, you know. And it matters a lot to me that this is taking place in a land I hold so dear to me- in my historical homeland.
-How do you feel about the "Music 20" online festival?
-It is a wonderful idea. 19 concerts with my very good friends and colleagues over here as well. The fact alone that classical music is being created by wonderful musicians for 2-3 weeks in a row is very telling about the significance of this event. I think this festival was a much awaited event for lovers of music.
-This time your interaction with the audience is online: How do you feel about communicating with the audience in this format?
-Frankly speaking, when you have a solo concert online, you feel as if you are playing for a recording. However, playing with an orchestra is not as difficult as playing alone before a camera. In any case, the presence and accompaniment of the orchestra and the conductor help a lot, easing the atmosphere and dispelling the feeling of loneliness on the stage. The "Music 20" somehow feels like a final rehearsal, when there is no one in the audience, but you play with a concert mood.
-You cooperate with the European Foundation for Support of Culture, which is led by our compatriot Konstantin Ishkhanov. By the way, this foundation is one of the organizers of the "Music 20" festival. How would you evaluate its activities?
-I have been cooperating with the European Foundation for Support of Culture since 2016. I have performed multiple times at concerts organized by the foundation, which took place in Germany, Malta, Japan. Lots of concerts are held in Russia as well. Everything is organized at a top level indeed: full audience, carefully selected programs, caring attitude towards musicians, you name it. The European Foundation for Support of Culture carries out valuable projects, and this matters a lot to artists and audiences equally. I feel happy and privileged with my cooperation with this organization. I hope to have lasting partnership with them.