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The General Assembly of the European Festivals Association and Arts Festival Summit took place in Wiesbaden, Germany on May 3-6, 2017. Armenia was represented by Sona Hovhannisyan, General Manager of the “Yerevan Perspectives” International Music Festival. Sona Hovhannisyan was elected from 250 members to be one of the 25 trusted member's to run the session of the discussions. During the Assembly five minutes length video about the ''Yerevan Perspectives'' Festival was appreciated highly.


2017 MAY 07


On 23 February, 2017 the annual round table took place with the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics, in Brussels, Belgium. The managers and representatives of the EU leading festivals in the field of arts and culture participated in the meeting. It has been the fourth meeting since the “Yerevan Perspectives” International Music Festival was invited to take part in this key event.

In his address Mr. Navracsics pointed out that Europe’s most powerful potential is culture, therefore it has to be looked at as the focal point of the EU foreign policy. To bring this approach to fruition it is deemed important to consider the creative approaches and opinion of the artistic directors of the leading festivals. Festivals bring stability, mutual understanding, economic growth, increase the quality of life and education in the host countries. Festivals’ diplomatic mission and contribution to the development of the tourism are of particular significance. 

Joanna Baker, the Managing Director of the 70-year-history Edinburgh International Festival, Darko Brlek, the Director of the 65th Ljubljana Festival and the European Festivals Association, Paul Dujardin, Chief Executive Officer and the Artistic Director of BOZAR Center for Fine Arts, Barbara Gessler, Executive Member of the “Creative Europe” and many more honorable guests were present at the round table with the EU Commissioner.

Being a non-EU country, Armenia has received its podium in the EU Government house, thanks to “Yerevan Perspectives” International Music Festival, sitting equally at the same round table with the other EU member states. The Festival has turned Armenia into an absolute leader of music not only in the whole region, as well as amongst other CIS countries.

As a result of the meetings convened in Brussels a number of arrangements were made with regard to organization of concerts for those who perform in the genres of Armenian jazz, spiritual and classical contemporary music, as well as Armenians participation in the concerts being held during the summits of the Eastern Partnership countries.

Moreover, some arrangements were made with regard to the prospects of exhibiting Pablo Picasso’s work in Armenia.

It is noteworthy that on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the “Yerevan Perspectives” Festival EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics came up with congratulatory address: “Yerevan Perspectives has established itself as one of the leading music festivals in Europe and puts Armenia firmly on the cultural and artistic map of Europe”, was mentioned in his address.

Composer Stepan Rostomyan is the Founding President and the Artistic Director of “Yerevan Perspectives” International Music Festival.


2017 FEBRUARY 23


Dear Friends,

The “Yerevan Perspectives” International Music Festival is celebrating its 15th jubilee. The first festival of the modern era of our country became one of its visit cards, by which Armenia is recognized and loved all over the world.

It is a festival that has been established for a mission, an occasion, which has endless dedication and unconditional service to the motherland at its foundations, a notion, which sees the Perspective of humanity and of our nation in solidarity, unity and mutual understanding, which is symbolized by the logo of the Festival.

“The Perspectives” changed the lives of Armenian musicians, opened doors, created opportunities for cooperation and molded a new environment. The extensive audience of music-lovers, which formed around the distinguished concerts of the festival, is also an achievement to take pride in.

The prominent cultural level of the Festival and the unceasing quality-led policy of the founder raised “Yerevan Perspectives” to be one of the leading festivals of Europe and the world, and our country became the absolute leader of musical life in the region, as well as among the CIS and post-Soviet countries. The orchestras and soloists, who visited Armenia, were stepping on the continent for the very first time, in its widest regional sense.

The activity of “Yerevan Perspectives” has vital impact on almost all the spheres of life in the country - culture and politics, society and education, diplomacy, as well as economy, being one the most influential promoters of cultural tourism.

The congratulatory messages sent to the “Perspectives” will be posted on the social media pages of the Festival, the first of which was received from Brussels: Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, has sent a video message. The followers of the “Perspectives” and other music-lovers can leave their messages on the Festival’s social media pages as well.

We would also like to take this opportunity to heartfully thank you all for being with us all these years!

2016 NOVEMBER 02


For his notable contribution in popularization of the Armenian music abroad, as well as for his contribution to the strengthening of the Armenian-Estonian cultural ties Andres Mustonen was awarded a gold medal, the highest award of the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Armenia.
Let us note that within the framework of the "With You, Armenia" project in 2015, Andres Mustonen had valuable participation and contribution in the establishment of the aforementioned concerts in Tallinn and Jerusalem. 



On the 18 February 2016 the European Festivals Association (EFA) had its second round table with the new EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics with the participation of Armel Opera Festival, ARS Electronica, Association of Irish Festival Events, BOZAR, Budapest Spring Festival and CAFe Budapest, Europalia, Festival Trayectos Danza en Paisajes Urbanos, Ljubljana Festival, Malta Festival Poznań, Music Biennale Zagreb, Ravenna Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Romaeuropa Festival, Serralves em Festa, Tanz im August and Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival.

Darko Brlek (EFA President and General and Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Festival) pointed out that the situation is Europe is quite different from when EFA first met the Commissioner. EFA continues its work of crossing them as it always did even in a tragic time where borders are being rebuilt. Everything is done by initiating projects that engage a wider group of festivals, like EFFE – Europe for Festivals | Festivals for Europe and through the collaboration in other continents with training programmes in Korea, Lebanon and Thailand. Darko Brlek reminded that Culture needs nonetheless the support from the National Governments and the European Commission if it is to continue to bring benefits to society.

The Commissioner congratulated EFA on the success of the EFFE pilot project, which has reached out to almost 900 festivals that have applied for the EFFE Label. EFFE can become a reference of quality, innovation and impact in Europe. The Commissioner confirmed that the EC and the EP are ready to engage in future developments, to be announced very soon.

The Commissioner welcomed EFA’s initiative of extending the Atelier for Young Festival and commended EFA on its selection of third countries. Implementing the EFA training programme in China in the frame of the EU-China People-to-people Dialogue is of high importance. The Commissioner is engaged in looking for possibilities so this opportunity is not wasted.

The responsibility of the festivals in today’s society is acknowledged and agreed upon by both parties. As the Commissioner stated “Intercultural dialogue helps us to identify both what distinguishes us from each other and what we have in common. It is essential in overcoming mistrust and prejudice, and critical in handling and preventing conflict within and between cultures. This is how, ultimately, intercultural dialogue allows us to build a community in Europe.”

Furthermore, “In supporting intercultural dialogue, the Commission relies on the ideas, networks and capacities of many partners. Bringing this diverse range of policies and projects to life would not be possible without the European Parliament, authorities and cultural institutes in the Member States as well as organisations like the European House of Culture and the European Festivals Association. We will need to continue to work together.”

EFA appreciates the magnificent group of festivals that brought important and relevant arguments to each of the topics in the agenda and shall follow up on these topics and expressions of engagement from the part of the Commissioner and take them up again from now until the next round table in 2017.

2016 FEBRUARY 18


Dear Friends,

"With you, Armenia" concert series gathered all of us again. This time the place of the meeting is Europe's musical capital, Vienna, with its beautiful Myuzikverein Hall. The concert series was inaugurated on March 5, in Henry Crown Hall of Jerusalem, with Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. This was followed by concerts in St. John’s Church in Tallinn (March 12), the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (April 26), Carnegie Hall in New York (May 26), Cadogan Hall in London (July 21), Sinopoli Hall of Santa Cecilia Concert Hall in Rome. Prestigious musical collectives and soloists participated in concerts, such as "Hortus Musicus" Ensamble, the National Orchestra of Belgium (conductor - George Pehlivanian), Maxim Vengerov (violin), Misha Maisky (cello), Sergei Nakariakov (trumpet); pianist Evgeny Kissin and Hover Chamber Choir, London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor - Pinchas Zukerman), "La Scala" Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor - Daniel Harding) and pianist Alessandro Taverna. The concerts included works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch, Chopin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Komitas the Great, Aram Khachaturian, Tigran Mansuryan. Dear friends, this last concert, the 7th one, one more time gathered renowned musicians and orchestras: Misha Maisky (cello), Lily Maisky (piano), Sasha Maisky (violin), Camerata Salzburg (conductor George Pehlivanian), Salzburger Bachchor, renowned Armenian soloists Liana Harutyunyan (Soprano), Varduhi Khachatryan (viola), Hovhannes Ayvazyan (tenor), Barsegh Tumanyan (Bass), Emmanuel Tcheknavorian (violin), Nareh Arghamanyan (piano). I would like to thank to the all participants of the concert for their participation. It has shown one more time that the creative intellectuals and the progressive international community is against of any act of violence and are ready to act for the maintenance of peace on our Planet of Earth. The concerts are a unique bridge cultural dialogue, which, I believe, will have their worthy continuation in other programs, in other formats.

I wish you all prosperity and blue sky. Let the music always hover over your hearts and warm your hearts!

H. Poghosyan

Minister of Culture of Republic of Armenia

2015 NOVEMBER 07


Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Excellences,

With the collapse of the Soviet Union the new era started for Armenia and its history. This brought lots of changes in thinking and lots of changes in structures. The approach to the cultural development meant very limited freedom and with the planned and directive way of thinking was basically taking the individuality of creators away from the world's cultural achievement.

After the collapse of the soviet rule the opportunities were created for the integration into the centuries old systems of cultural development of the countries with powerful potential. We put in front of ourselves a hardly possible impossible task and aim of complex integration into the world wide accepted cultural system. And not only this but also the task of creation of the equal in quality cultural life level in Armenia and particularly in Yerevan. Armenia for at least two millennia had been the creator and the proud owner of the highest values in culture and thus the significant presence and huge input of its cultural achievements could not be less at the 21 century. We founded the festival with the title of "Perspectives XXI "which was the first of its kind in Armenian new history. XXI is the century and perspectives are indicating that the cultural future of Armenia and the humanity in a whole we see in the cultural integration and cooperation without any barriers based on the top general values. Ten years later “Perspectives XXI" being renamed into the "Yerevan Perspectives" was recognized as one of the best in Europe and which artistic level was not only impressive but somewhat surprising one. In frames of the Festival Armenia, and the whole region mostly first time ever visited Vienna Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras, Staatskapelle Berlin, London Royal Philharmonic and Mariinsky Symphony Orchestras, with conductors Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christof Escenbach, also Pinchas Zukerman, Placido Domingo, Krzysztof Penderecki, soloists Evgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerov, Yefim Bronfman, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Kronos, Tokyo, Hagen quartets, to name a few among other finest soloists, choirs, quartets, ensembles and orchestras of the world. Starting from 2009 the Festival is being held under the high patronage of the president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. Today after 16 years the idea that seemed unrealistic and unfulfilling, started bringing its fruits and we are enjoying the power of cultural diplomacy and progress which is sometimes much resultative than political talks. Thus the Title of this conference Cultural Policy- Policy for Culture could be continued also as the Culture for Policy.

From 2007 the Festival has become the member of the European Festivals Association, which is famous for wide international cooperation. The Association had more than 100 best festivals in Europe as its members, whose active work continues to prove the proud motto “Europe is a cultural project". It is already two years that our Festival participates in the round table of the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, with ten the most

outstanding Festivals directors discussing cultural policy issues towards development of cultural, educational, public, social, economic and other important spheres of life. The culture creates an educational environment where the leaders of the next generation are formed. Even more than by economic indicators, cultural achievements create image and reputation of any country. It is customary that the most significant European Festivals open their Academies. This year Yerevan Perspectives has opened its Academy in the Byurakan community 33 km from Yerevan at slopes of mountain Aragats. Leading musicians –professors will teach here. The place has become a perfect environment for young and already established musicians to create and to achieve. This unique in its kind and in the region establishment will open the possibilities for the promising young musicians by cooperation and intercourse with the young talents throughout the world, as well as for having the honor of working closely with the most outstanding musicians of the world, in a very special environment. It is with pride and gratitude we have to acknowledge that the financial support and sponsorship for the Academy was generously provided by world famous pianist Evgeny Kissin as well as Pyunik foundation. Shortly after, Academy's Orchestra under the conductorship of famous conductors will be formed, as well as Concert hall with 1000 seats will be opened. The Byurakan community is an ideal place for cultural and spiritual education. The famous Byurakan Observatory is here, as well as spiritual places preserved from IV century, magnificent monasteries and churches.

The 16-th edition of this year’s Festival program is also impressive. Evgeny Kissin has had his recital here, as well as world famous soprano Maria Guleghina, internationally acclaimed baritone Dmitry Hvorostovsky, American legendary Kronos quartet. In the near future the visit of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with music director and conductor Zubin Mehta is expected as well as Mischa Maisky, Martha Argerich, Krzysztof Penderecky, Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell. When talking of the highest cultural values and future plans it is necessary to mention that 2015 is the year of the commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The acceptance of it and the condemnation is inherent to civilized and progressive society. The international reputation of the festival created the possibility that at the best venues of the world the most famous musicians commemorate the Centennial of the Genocide. Mega stars Evgeny Kisin, Maxim Vengerov, Valery Gergiev, Pinchas Zukerman, Mischa Maisky, best orchestras, conductors, and soloists at Carnegie Hall in NY, at Bozar in Brussels, at Vienna Musikverein, at Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, in Jerusalem, in London, in Rome all are announcing "With you Armenia". More than that, those outstanding musicians are saying loudly that they are for justice, peace and the elimination of hostility. The founding president and artistic director of the Festival, composer Stepan Rostomyan's position is that there are no bad or good nations but there are evil leaders that are making atrocities and nightmarish events. The guarantee of piece is the acceptance and recognition of previous mistakes. Yerevan Perspectives Festival being the bridge between the outstanding cultural activists and organizations from other countries tries to stress out that the future of mankind is in peaceful co-existence and cooperation between nations and countries and that the most powerful tool for the realization of that idea is cultural diplomacy. It seems that the

role of the cultural diplomacy has never been more important and vital than today. At the European Festivals Association General Assembly in Ostrava in June this year it was decided to use the following idea: there is a saying “You are what you eat”. We think artistic creation is food for the soul, so what better way to tell others about who you are and what you hold dear than through the artistic objects that make you be glad to be part of the world.

It is with pleasure we are greeting the participants of this conference organized to celebrate the 70th anniversary of UNESCO. We highly hope that hence forward the cooperation between Armenia and states sharing the values of UNESCO will become closer and productive.

2015 JULY 13