feature The Komitas Museum-Institute: A shrine worthy of a joyful spirit Every year thousands of people step into the Komitas Museum-Institute in Armenia to learn about the creative world of Komitas Vardapet, his extraordinary gift as a composer, his noble mission as a collector of Armenian folk songs, his captivating spiritual music, and his inspiring, yet tragic life. On a visit to the museum, we talked with a couple of experts about the challenges of showcasing an icon who is revered as the founder of the Armenian national school of music.
interview Minas Lourian: A guru-like cross-cultural expert from Venice who makes it all happen! “To have great art, we must commission it! In order to commission it, we must have great commissioners!” If there is one person in the Armenian world who could be credited with turning Frank O'Hara’s famous words into action, it’s Minas Lourian, who serves as director of the Center for Studies and Documentation of Armenian Culture in Venice, Italy. Lourian was the catalyst behind Riccardo Muti’s recent “Roads of Friendship” concert in Armenia for the premiere of “Purgatory,” a commissioned piece by Tigran Mansurian. The maestro and his wife Cristina received the presidential Medal of Friendship, while Lourian was awarded with the Medal of Gratitude for their “significant role in the strengthening and promoting of cultural relationships between Armenia and Italy.” H-pem sat down for an exclusive Skype interview to get valuable insights from the unconventional cross-cultural executive who has a deep knowledge of the Armenian-Italian community and a whole raft of stunning achievements under his belt.