Alexander Spendiaryan's 150th anniversary was celebrated in Tbilisi

The year is jubilee; the art loving society celebrates the 150th anniversary of Alexander Spendiaryan, the RA People's Artist, founder of Armenian classical symphonic music, pedagogue and public figure, conductor, and composer. The commemorative anniversary, also by the request of Georgia, was included in the agenda of UNESCO holiday programs, gaining international resonance.

Taking into consideration the fact that this year also marks the 105th anniversary of Spendiaryan's first visit to Tbilisi, the day gained the meaning of double celebration. The visit of the famous composer, his acquaintance and friendship with prominent figures of Georgian classical music, including the founder of Georgian classical music Zakaria Paliashvili, deepened over the years becoming a creative collaboration. Therefore, on the initiative of the Alexander Spendiaryan House Museum in Yerevan, Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum, the great composer’s anniversary event in Tbilisi received the ‘’Creative Second Life: Tbilisi’’ title.


The jubilee events took place on October 23-24 and were held with the blessings of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan, with the support of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia and RA Embassy in Georgia. The delegation members headed by Marine Otaryan, the Director of the Alexander Spendiaryan House Museum in Yerevan participated in the events entitled ‘’Creative Second Life: Tbilisi’’.


At the ''Hayartun'' Educational, Cultural and Youth Center the festive mood was began with ''Enzelii'' performance by Arthur Papikyan, student of duduk class, accompanied by Anri Akopyan, duduk teacher Ivane Mkrtchyan and dhol teacher Sergey Malkhayan. The event was conducted by the Head of the Center Eugenia Markosyan and Head of the Diocesan Cultural Department Suren Abramyan.

Diplomats of the RA Embassy in Georgia, clergy, lecturers and students from Vano Sarajishili Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Zakaria Paliashvili House Museum staff members, representatives of art loving public were in the hall.

Marine Otaryan, the Director of Alexander Spendiaryan House Museum in Yerevan made a speech about the interesting and unique facts of Spendiaryan's life. The latter highlighted in her speech the composer's visit to Tbilisi, his friendship with Armenian and Georgian intellectuals, their collaboration spheres and the pages full of arguments of their creative life.


The main points of the speech made by Tinatin Barkalaia, the representative of from Vano Sarajishili Tbilisi State Conservatoire were the visits of Zakaria Paliashvili and Alexander Spendiaryan, during which classical music was bridged becoming an inseparable part of creative life and enriching by innovations from the art world.

Alexander Spendiaryan did not speak his native language but was completely devoted to its culture. His closeness with Hovhannes Tumanyan became a new impetus of the talented composer's devotion to Armenian national culture. Ani Yeghiazaryan, Director of Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum in Yerevan made a speech emphasizing the creative path of the ''Almast'' opera based on ''The Capture of Tmbkaberd'' poem written by the Great Poet from Lori. She highly appreciated the fact that for the first time the ''Almast'' opera was on stage in Moscow, and the second performance took place in Tbilisi bringing great recognition to the talented Armenian composer.


On October 24, the festive mood continued at the ''House of Hovhannes Tumayan'' Center for Science and Culture of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. The event was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia to Georgia Ruben Sadoyan, Editor of ''Vrastan'' (''Georgia'') newsletter Van Bayburdyan, Artistic director of the Petros Adamyan Tbilisi State Armenian Drama Theatre Armen Bayanduryan, as well as representatives of art-loving public.

The meaningful, organized in high level two-day events were highly appreciated by Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan, spiritual superintendent of the ''House of Hovhannes Tumanyan'' Center; Avetik Harutyunyan, Attaché of RA Embassy in Georgia; Tamar Mari, representative of Zakaria Paliashvili House Museum. The latter presented a gift – ‘’Zakaria Paliashvili’’ album to the Alexander Spendiaryan House Museum in Yerevan and received the jubilee edition of Alexander Spendiaryan's ''Almast'' opera.

Saint Nerses the Gracious (Surb Nerses Shnorhali) youth choir (Choirmaster Maria Abulyan, soloist Aida Bazoyan, pianist Yesayi Abovyan) of the ‘’Hayartun’’ Center made the events organized by the Diocesan two Centers more beautiful with their performances. in line with the spirit of the day, Gisane Hovsepyan, Head of the ‘’House of Hovhannes Tumanyan’’ Center presented brilliant performances of classical music performed by soloists of Alexander Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre Diana Harutyunyan, Andranik Malkhasyan, pianist Margarita Sargsyan, as well as beautiful performances by soloist of the Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire Svetlana Tatoeva, student of Professor Ernest Arakelov's violin class Davit Akopov which gave a magical concert to the audience.

Indeed, the jubilee events in Tbilisi on the occasion of his 150th anniversary became an expression of a great respect for the Armenian nation's talented son after whom the Yerevan State Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre is named. Ambassador Ruben Sadoyan was awarded the ''Alexander Spendiaryan 150'' commemorative medal by the Museum in Yerevan.

The day was marked by signing a Memorandum of Cooperation by four organizations in Hovhannes Tumanyan's house in Tbilisi, in the cabinet of the Poet of All Armenians. those four organizations are: Alexander Spendiaryan house Museum in Yerevan on person of Marine Otaryan, Tumanyan Museum in Yerevan on person of Ani Yeghiazaryan, ''House of Hovhannes Tumayan'' Center for Science and Culture of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia on person of Gisane Hovsepyan, and ''Hayartun'' educational, Cultural and Youth center on person of Eugenia Markosyan.

It should be mentioned that due to the pandemic restrictions, the two-day program of jubilee events was broadcast live, and also posted on social media.

RA President Armen Sargsyan visited Cathedral of Saint George

On April 16, 2021, within the frameworks of two-day official visit RA President Armen  Sargsyan together with his wife Nune Sargsyan visited the Cathedral of Saint George (Surb Gevork) of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. In the ancient historical church, the high–ranking guest and those who accompanied him were welcomed by the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan and church clergy.

The RA President and his wife laid flowers at the tomb of Sayat-Nova, the pioneer of Armenian minstrel (ashugh) art, as well as they laid flowers at the tombstones of Armenian Generals buried in the Church courtyard and other famous Armenian figures' tombs buried here. Afterwards, the President and the guests who accompanied him lit candles and prayed in Saint George (Surb Gevork) Church.

The RA President answered the questions of numerous journalists in the church; the questions mainly referred to the 44-day Artsakh war, the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the current situation in Armenia, the prospects of country's development, the foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia. Touching upon his official visit to Tbilisi at the invitation of the President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President Armen Sargsyan also spoke about the meeting with the Georgia authorities as well as Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Illia II. President Armen Sargsyan also touched upon the issues of opening the land border with Georgia, his planned visit to Javakheti, Armenian-Georgian business cooperation and generally, relations with neighboring countries.

A reception was held in honor of the RA President and First wife at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.

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Sergei Parajanov's ''Baia'' pomegranate tree

On March 17, 2021, at the initiative of director of Tbilisi Botanical Garden Jose Majineri and the ''House of Hovhannes Tumanyan'' Center for Science and Culture of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, a beautiful and symbolic event took place dedicated to Sergei Parajanov's memory, world-famous film director, worthy son of the Armenian nation. It was the talented film director's favorite pomegranate tree, the sapling of which was solemnly placed in Tbilisi Botanical Garden, particularly at the alley named after Italian playwright Tonino Guerra which contains rare saplings and which has been established at the initiative of the Embassy of Italy in Georgia.

The day was chosen not accidentally. On March 16 the great playwright was born, and March 17 became a day of friendship and strengthening of creative relations between world-famous Armenian and Italian film directors.

In the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this beautiful and unique event with the warmth of light, love and beauty, brought to Tbilisi Botanical Garden the representatives of Armenian and Georgian art-loving communities, who appreciate friendship.

Diplomats of the RA Embassy in Georgia, employees of the municipality, representatives from state and public organizations, members of art-loving public attended the event.

The event was honored with the presence of Vicar of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan accompanied by Rev. Father Archimandrite Zaven Yazichyan, the Pastor of Kvemo Kartli region.

At the opening ceremony, Giorgi Tarkhnishvili, an employee of the Botanical Garden, expressed his gratitude to the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, personnel of the RA Embassy in Georgia, representatives of Armenian and Georgian communities, public figures, poets and singers and thanked them for enriching the alley named after Tonino Guerra with a symbol of friendship of Armenian and Georgian people, expressed in the memory of the great artist Sergo Parajanov.

Gohar Mkhitaryan-Mazmanyan, a staff member of ''House of Hovhannes Tumanyan'' Center for Science and Culture, spoke about Tbilisi as the center of people's friendship, love and beauty; recorded the undeniable and irreversible role of the glorious sons of Armenian people (Sayat-Nova, Hovhannes Tumanyan and Sergo Parajanov and others) in the development of art, beauty and love in this city. She also valued ''Vardaton'' (Feast of Roses) dedicated to Sayat-Nova, Hovhannes Tumanyan House-Museum and the ceremony of planting a pomegranate tree dedicated to the memory of Sergo Parajanov.

During the event, beautiful and interesting speeches were delivered by Van Bayburdyan, editor of ''Vrastan'' (''Georgia'') newsletter; poets Giorgi Botchorishvili, Gari Ghalamkarov, Artem Grigorents, Nana Nikoladze; actor Henrikh Petrosyan.

In should be mentioned that at the suggestion of Jose Majineri, each pomegranate tree, the saplings of which the film director had grown from pomegranate seeds in his house, will be named after Parajanov and actresses of his films: Baia, Sophiko, Lela, Gayane, and others…

It was decided to establish a house-museum named after Sergo Parajanov, to name one of the streets after the talented director, and to come together every year on March 17 in Tonino Guerra Alley, in Tbilisi Botanical Garden in order to remember and honor Sergo Parajanov.


Median Day of Great Lent (Mijink) celebrated at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia

It is Great Lent period in accordance with the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church Calendar. On March 10, 2021, Great Lent divided into two parts because it was the 24th day. It is called Mijink, the Median Day of Great Lent. This church feast is celebrated with a number of many folk traditions and customs, for instance, baking bagharj (sweet unleavened cake) of gata (Armenian pastry). The churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia had properly prepared for the feast.

Rev. Father Archimandrite Zaven Yazichyan, Pastor of Kvemo Kartli region offered Requiem Service with the participation of clergy, under the presidency of Vicar of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan. The Diocesan Primate offered his blessings to the attendees and touched upon the mystery of the day.

Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan wished the faithful to pass the second half of Great Lent with love and faith; the second half of Great Len will last until the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ which this year will be celebrated on April 4th in accordance with the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church Calendar.

Mijink was solemnly celebrated also at Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari. After the ceremony in two Armenian churches in the capital of Georgia, the faithful were enjoyed Armenian gata by Godfather of church Yuri Yeremyan and Grigor Nalbandyan and became happy receiving blessed crosses as a surprise.

And the feast of Mijink turned into an Armenian gata festival at Saint Savior (Surb Prkich) church in Batumi and at Samtskhe-Javakheti and Tsalka's General Prelacy. The faithful had come to the evening service with different types of gata baked especially for that day. Delicious gata baked by housewives were blessed everywhere and given to the faithful.

Student of Saint Moses of Khoren (Surb Movses Khorenatsi) Preschool of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia took part in the joyful celebration of Mijink. Receiving blessings offered by Rev. Father Tatev Marukyan, they tasted delicious gata.

Blessed crosses, the surprises made by the Godfathers of cross, made the day of all the faithful from the youngest ones to the oldest, more festive and joyful.


Requiem Service for Martyred Soldiers

On December 20, 2020, at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a Requiem Service was offered for the peace of souls of the heroes who martyred during the Artsakh war. The Service was offered in the Armenian churches under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

The psalm ‘’Ter Voghormea’’ (Rosary) spread at the Cathedral of Saint George (Surb Gevork) and candles were lit in memory of our heroes. Requiem Service was offered under the presidency of the Vicar of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan and with the participation of clergy and deacons.

At the conclusion, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan expressed gratitude to the memory of the thousands of soldiers, officers, commanders who consciously died in unequal battles for the defense of the Homeland. Rev. Father highly appreciated the role of the Armenians worldwide during these difficult and severe days for the Homeland, their consolidation and united support provided to Artsakh and Armenia.

Rev. Father urged the Armenians of Georgia to continue their support and to have their contribution with their modest donations and monthly payments in the activities of the foundation of long-term insurance for soldiers, supporting those families which have lost their sons, husbands, fathers, as well as those injured and disabled soldiers who now need long-term treatment and healing.

The Diocesan Primate concluded his speech by wishing peace to the world and health to the peoples.

Requiem Service was offered in the churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia in memory of the martyred soldiers who deceased protecting the borders of our homeland in Artsakh and Motherland.

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