On the first day of the last month from the year the City Art Gallery in Sofia hosted again the concert of the AGBU SOFIA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, conducted by Levon Manukyan with soloists – the already well-known from the Bulgarian audience – the singer Hasmik Harutunyan and the canon-player Eteri Hovanesyan.

In the concert program were many plays from different music styles, including world classics as well as 126 many performances from Armenian authors from different generations.

The first plays were the introduction to the expected from everyone holidays – four different interpretations of Ave Maria from Mascani, Shubert, Kaccini (greatly interpreted by the Orchestra with expressional violin solos) and the modern version of Charles Aznavour. The first three were performed by the opera singer Hasmik Harutunyan who charmed with her flexible and sensible voice and the attitude towards the detailed phrasing. In contrast with her dream-like personality of the first plays was the appearance of the other soloist – Eteri Hovanesyan. Thanks to her our audience got already familiar with the expressional possibilities of the instrument canon – specific way of getting a sound, masterly technique and surprisingly subtle nuance. The plays of Hovanisyan and Avetisyan sounded in a fast pace under the fingers of Eteri, supported in harmony by the Orchestra. The chamber ensemble was impressive in the performance of Libertango by Piezolla as well. Hasmik and Eteri during their next plays on the stage presented to the audience several of the most iconic and favorite Armenian songs and plays (Lele Yaman, Krunk, Antuni and others), where the both young performers presented great feeling and expression of the music and perfect familiarity with the Armenian national melody and emotion.

The end of the holiday program was unconventional – the stage was filled with the children of the Armenian school “HayLer”. Along with the professional musicians they delighted the audience with the performance of three songs, where on of them for the first time with an orchestra. The concert was a great prelude to the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays and powered the audience with positive attitude towards music.

Thanks for the photos of thе photographer Angela Medzikian.

Tzanka Filipova

The exhibition at the Armenian Embassy booth was more than beautiful and fully depicting the rich Armenian culture.

Our dear friends Astari Rasjid, Ambassador of R. Indonesia, and Snezhana Todorova, Chairman of the Journalists in Bulgaria, visited and viewed the beautiful exhibitions of Armenia.

As each year, Agbu Sofia ladies prepared Armenian cookies “gathas“ to be sold at the Armenia booth at the annual EXPO 2019 Charity action.

Our wonderful guests soloists, Hasmik Harutyunyan, soprano, Eteri Khovanesyan, canon _ Armenia and dance group “NAIRI” _ Bulgaria took part in the artistic program of EXPO 2019 Bulgaria. 

On 29 of November 2019 the AGBU Sofia Parekordzagan and Restaurant Faborge had the honor to organize and host a Charitable Gala dinner. The fund raising at the event is intended to support the children of the Sunday school AGBU HayLer in their dream to visit Armenia. The school has started 6 years ago and today it has 20 students in different ages, all from Armenian ethnicity, who study Ar- menian language, dances, music and art. The main target of the Sunday school is to teach Armenian language and to preserve and develop the Armenian spirit, culture and traditions. In the beautiful

and Christmas environment of the restaurant, Mr. Arno Kuiumdjian, Chairman of the AGBU Sofia, welcomed the guests and expressed gratitude for being part of this charitable event.

Special guests of the evening were Mrs. Reneta Indzhova (former PM of the Republic of Bulgaria), Her Majesty Astari Rasjid (Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in the Republic of Bulgaria), Mrs. Sne- zhana Todorova (Director of the Bulgarian Journalists Union), Father Dionysius, the honored friends and contributors of AGBU Sofia – the Meziad family (MATSTAR), the family of Vasken Kalendzhiyan (Dodis International), MR. Nabi Masoumi (Iranian businessman and specialist in Persian language) and others. With the kind assistance of Mrs. Christina Tepkian (FABORGE) the charity dinner turned into a fairy tale.

Our special guests from Armenia – the charming Hasmik Harutunyan – the best young opera per- former in Armenia and Eteri Hovhannisyan – spectacular canon player and having an angel voice, ful- filled the hall and got the attention of the guests with their rich repertoire and their wonderful perfor- mances of world classics and Armenian music and songs and managed to bring guests into the magical and beautiful world of music!

With a very good mood, delicious food and a friendly atmosphere, the evening passed without no- tice. With thanks and gratitude, we thank our friend Marie Kanalyan, photographer for the wonderful photos she provided to us.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union “Parekordzagan” AGBU Sofia expresses its special thanks to all the donors who have participated in the donation campaign to fulfill the childhood dream of the little HayLers!

We thank the charming Mrs. Sonia Avakyan-Bedrosyan, Honorary Chairрerson of AGBU Sofia, Gron- ika Kavafyan and Lusia Medzikian for the wonderful gala evening, which they organized and contrib- uted to the good mood of the guests on the eve of the New Year holidays, which are to come and for their personal contribution in keeping the Armenian spirit in the community!

Special thanks to Angela Medzikian, AGBU member and photographer at AGBU Sofia, for the won- derful pictures of the evening.

Dear members and friends! AGBU Sofia wishes you happy holidays! 

This Sunday at AGBU Sunday School Sofia Hayler, besides the usual activities of the children for learning Armenian, we had the pleasure of welcoming our beloved actor Tigran Torosyan. He met the new kids at school and we are happy that every Sunday, when he has the opportunity, he will teach the children songs, as well as give them lessons on how they should behave on stage. They will also prepare an interesting theatrical piece.

A pleasant meeting with Mr. Hakob Asatryan, Editor-in-Chief of Orer Magazine (Prague) , took place at the office of Parekordzagan AGBU Sofia. In an interesting conversation, Mrs. Sonia Avakian-Bedrossian, Honorary Chairperson of AGBU Sofia, introduced the dear guest to the general activities of the organization in the capital. 

Dinner after the successful Concert of the “AGBU SOFIA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA” with the special participation of the guest soloist Elena Yerevan, Armenia 

A cool autumn evening, a welcoming atmosphere among the paintings of the City Art Gallery and a lively musical experience. This is what AGBU SOFIA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA offered to its listeners with a conductor Levon Manukyan and soloist of Armenia Elena Erevan.

The concert began with a special introduction for Bulgaria, First part of the instrumental performance was the “Quartet” piece, dedicated to the Armenian people, which sound is caught much of characteristic intonations, typical for the Armenian music. The Orchestra, showed great sound and interpretational skills as usual. The soloist of the concert Elena Yerevan, young singer and guitarist has already built quite an impressive CV with solid musical education, active concert activity in various countries, ownership of a channel on You Tube and a recorded Compact disc. The young lady said, that she visits Bulgaria for the first time and is very excited about the opportunity to sing in front of our audience. 

The impression, that Elena made at the beginning was associated with very relaxed and charming de- meanor on stage, which immediately shorten the distance between her and the audience. Her perfor- mance began with “Volare” lovely and fascinating Italian song, with which Elena immediately won the audience. There were few songs performed together with the orchestra, as the focus was on the original tunes of the great Charles Aznavour, arranged in accompaniment of the orchestra. Everybody knows that Aznavour is one of the most emblematic Armenian names in the field of entertainment. Through the performance of is iconic songs Elena Yerevan demonstrated her wonderful voice capabil- ities as well as her strong presence on the stage while being accompanies by her guitar. AGBU SOFIA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA has also another individual performance of the magnificent Ave Maria by Charles Aznavour, an early reference to the upcoming holidays. The final song of Helena with the orchestra was”La boheme” – one of the masterpieces of Aznavour, performed by the inspired musicians. The subsequent part of the concert was a colorful palette of Spanish, Russian and Armenian songs, which supported Elena Yerevan accompanied by her guitar, piano and percussion instruments to raise the final emotional strength in the concert hall.

Until the end the audience stayed blinded by the magic of Elena and her songs and rewarded her with stormy applauses as a result.

Tzanka Filipova