Rousing Diyarbakir Concert on April 23

On the eve of the world-wide Armenian Genocide commemorations on April 24, more than 1,000 people attended a concert by Canadian Armenian pianist Raffi Bedrosyan (April 23) in the recently reconstructed Armenian Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Several hundred of the attendees remained standing throughout the event. The concert was covered widely by Turkish and international media, and broadcast live via national and local television stations.

 
In his opening remarks, Bedrosyan said the concert "is not only a centennial commemoration of the Armenians lost in 1915, but also a celebration of the rebirth of new Armenians returning to their roots on our historic Armenian lands 100 years after 1915, after being forced to hide their identity, language and religion for three or four generations."

On the eve of the world-wide Armenian Genocide commemorations on April 24, more than 1,000 people attended a concert by Canadian Armenian pianist Raffi Bedrosyan (April 23) in the recently reconstructed Armenian Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Several hundred of the attendees remained standing throughout the event. The concert was covered widely by Turkish and international media, and broadcast live via national and local television stations.

 
In his opening remarks, Bedrosyan said the concert "is not only a centennial commemoration of the Armenians lost in 1915, but also a celebration of the rebirth of new Armenians returning to their roots on our historic Armenian lands 100 years after 1915, after being forced to hide their identity, language and religion for three or four generations."

 
In an all-Armenian program, Bedrosyan performed works by Komitas, Khatchaturian, Aleksandryan, Godoyan, Hovannes, as well as Armenian songs from Anatolia and Artsakh, including Zeytountsiner, Zartir Lao and Kedashen. In between the piano works, he gave brief explanations about Armenian music and composers, focusing on the significance of Komitas' work.
 
Bedrosyan said: 'One hundred years ago today, he [Komitas] was arrested in Istanbul and taken to Ayas and Cankiri with 235 other Armenian intellectuals who were the brains and the hearts of the Armenian nation. Although he was allowed to return to Istanbul a few months later, after witnessing the torture and murder of his friends, he suffered a complete mental collapse and spent the rest of his life in mental hospitals in Istanbul and Paris, never again touching his beloved piano'.
 
The concert came to an end with a lively rendition of Yerevan Erebuni by Edgar Hovhanessian, when some of the audience also joined in the singing.

 

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