The Festival «The Terteryan’s time»

The unique festival «The Terteryan’s time» was held for the first time in Armenia, in the oldest village Hayravank. The meeting of Russian and Armenian art figures was supported by the Mediacongress «The Commonwealth of journalists», the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia and the Committee for culture of the Sverdlovsk region.

The festival is devoted to the brightest composer, the people's artist of the USSR Avet Terteryan. His artist’s life is connected with Russia, where his music gained fame: concerts organized by outstanding Russian orchestra director Gennady Rozhdestvensky, or the unique playing of the sixth Symphony on the main stage of the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow.  His name is connected with Arvo Pyarta, Alfred Schnittke, Sonia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, Edison Denisov, Valentin Silvestrov and the group of composers who created a new reality of the world of sounds over the last thirty years of the socialist empire. As Sonia Gubaidulina noted, «Each Avet Terteryan’s new work makes an astonishing impression and comes to this world as a revelation. It is always the phenomenon in the music life of our country and abroad». However, the composer’s artistic path was not constantly successful. For example, there is an interesting fact: the Head of the Union of Composers Tikhon Khrennikov condemned the First Symphony but composers and musicologists defended it and its author that was impossible to imagine in the era of the totalitarian regime. Nevertheless, the name of Terteryan was cancelled from the official report published in the «Pravda» newspaper next day. Despite the prohibitions, the new music and especially the ignorance of its existence was coming to the open through single concerts and listening in a circle of like-minded people. The tipping point in the composer’s creative destiny was the Second Symphony played at the festival «The Transcaucasian spring» in 1974 in Tbilisi, At this festival a lot of musical and public figures from Eastern and Western Europe were invited, and they stood and applauded the young composer after his Symphony. From the memories of the composer Boris Tishchenko: «... the Symphony had impressed me so much that I inadvertently violated the etiquette and, without waiting for the end of the concert section, jumped up to kiss the author. It was an impression for all my life».

In the advance of the festival the son of the composer, the musicologist Ruben Terteryan said: «I hope the festival with its stunning music will bring smiles to the residents of Armenia».

The Armenian Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan mentioned at the meeting with Russian and Armenian journalists: «Avet Terteryan is the personality of a huge scale. There are not so many people of this level in our history, who combine in their work the cosmopolitanism and the national identity».

The Chairman of the Mediacongress «The Commonwealth of Journalists» council Ashot Dzhazoyan highlighted that the name of the festival was rightly chosen because the Terteryan’s music combined the past, the present and the future and would be always in demand. It is interesting that Dzhazoyan was lucky to prepare documents about the conferring of «people's artist of the USSR» title to Avet  Terteryan. It is necessary to mention that the composer became the last artist, who was awarded this honorary title in the Soviet Union.

Not only cultural figures and journalists, but also the residents of the village Hayravank had an opportunity to become closer to the composer’s works. All of them were witnesses of amazing stories about the exceptional resident of the village told by the Terteryan’s son.

Ruben Terteryan presented his book «Conversations with Avet Terteryan» written in the form of dialogues that helped readers to understand the philosophical and aesthetic views of the master and also to explain his life and creative position. More than 1,000 participants were able to visit the house of the composer and to see not only personal things, a unique interior of the house and music notes but also philosophical writings.

According to Ruben Terteryan, «the choice of the festival location and content is not accidental and is largely determined by the dream of the composer to hold the folk festival on the shores of lake Sevan, where the cosmic spirit of music merges with the beautiful landscape of the biblical mountains and the superb lake». In his own house in Hayravank the master held bright musical feasts, which were renowned for the whole district. But in the 80s everything changed, Avet Terteryan lived without electricity and warmed with the stove, which filled the house with smoke.

The programme of the festival included a prayer service in memory of the master in the monastery Hayravank built in the 9-th century, the brilliant performance of the folk group «The Calendar of festivals» under the guidance of Hasmik Bagromyan, tasting Armenian national dishes and screening of the film with the composer’s music. The String Quartet of the Sverdlovsk Philharmonic from Yekaterinburg – the city that played a special role in the composer's life, and where soon there will be a street named after the people's artist of the USSR Avet Terteryan, also took part in the fest. The performance of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia headed by Sergey Smbatyan was the final point of the evening.

Summing up the festival day, Ruben Terteryan said: «It is just a start. I hope next festival will take place on the 29-th of July, the birthday of Avet Terteryan, but in 2016».

Author: Anastasia Merkulova