The first international festival of young musicians “Kanch” will take place from April 10 to 16. It was initiated by a young pianist from Artsakh, David Bakhshiyan, with the aim of not only uniting music lovers from different countries in the time of pandemic, but also introducing Armenian culture to the world and the today’s tragic Armenian reality.
Ostarmenia.com website spoke with him to get acquainted with the initiative in more detail.
– What is the “Kanch” festival, what is it aimed at, and what are the main goals?
“Kanch” is a platform that gives young musicians the opportunity to perform and express themselves. The first festival will be held in the piano category only, but in the future it is planned to include other categories as well. The format of the festival is flexible, it allows participants to include both academic and national music in their repertoire. Within the scope of the festival we will have guests, mainly folk performers.
– How did the idea for the festival come about?
The idea of the festival arose in August last year. At that time, many spheres, especially the cultural one, were disrupted by the pandemic. Unfortunately, the situation in Armenia was not good before, and now the Armenian culture is in a crisis.
So I had the idea to organize an exceptional event with a distant mode. I started organizing processes, but the war started. At that time I was in Artsakh: I was there during the whole war. So that’s why the works were interrupted.
After the war, like everyone else, I was in a state of shock. After a while, I realized that I had to work hard to revive the cultural life. I think that our awakening can become a unique regeneration for the nation. It is known that music has healing properties, through it you can do art therapies, and maybe we will have some positive result in relieving people from stress.
– Who are the members of the jury?
The jury consists of 4 people. They are pianists Desislava Bobrina from Russia, Zofia Dynak from Poland, Luca Ferrini from Italy and I. The jury selects the participants – young pianists. A pre-selection auditions will be organized, thus we will select participants of the festival.
– What is the program of the festival, what should participants do?
The program of the festival is free. This also gives participants an opportunity to freely choose the participation program.
We just have age groups: A (11-13), B (14-16) and C (17-19) years old, respectively we have time limits. And according to that time limit, participants must send their videos.
– What are the expectations from the festival?
Within the framework of the festival we will present the Armenian culture, the national music. In that way, I expect another internationalizing of our culture – new positive impulses. I hope that during the festival events people in Armenia and Artsakh will be relieved a little and will get positive emotions.
– Will you and other members of the jury participate in person?
During the first online discussion with members of the jury, I offered them to participate in the festival, if they wish. Two events with the participation of professional musicians are planned, one of which will be “Piano Music Evening”. Jury members can also take part in these events.
– Your initiative is welcome, of course, but arises a question: why festival, but not a competition for young pianists? What is the difference?
The festival is a way of organising cultural events, publicizing them and giving pleasant days to the participants and listeners.
And the competition is a way to bring out the most deserving of participants, the ones with the most relevant information. Therefore, the jury must make a choice for the competition: first the pre-selection stage, then the actual competition stages. In case of competition, equal conditions must be created for participants, and the jury must listen to everyone equally. As the project is organized remotely, it will be impossible to accurately and objectively assess all participants. For example: one participant may have the opportunity to perform in a hall with good acoustics, or organize a high-quality shooting, and the other may not. So in that case it is absolutely impossible to speak about objectivity. In my view organising distance competitions is completely meaningless. In such situations, an online or distance festival is the best.
– And the last question. How can you see the results of the festival? And will we see new festivals organized by You?
The results of the festival will be summed up on April 16. All selected participants will receive a diploma. The jury will decide the participants worthy of the Special Prizes.
And, of course, the festival will be continuous. I hope next year the covid will retreat and we will be able to organize the festival real.
Thank you David, wish You good luck.
Interviewed by Bagrat Movsesyan