Beloved FAR friend, master pianist, philanthropist and humanitarian Sahan Arzruni spent most of June conducting a tour with a mission as he visited schools in five different regions, plus Artsakh, where he held master classes for students and then subsequently partnered with some of them on a final performance. All in all, he visited schools in Goris, Stepanakert, Kapan, Argavand, Dilijan, Vanadzor and Ashtarak, before circling back to Yerevan.

Along with the masterclasses, Arzruni met with many provincial and city leaders. He didn’t miss a chance to underline the importance of music and musical education for children, and he urged them to pay more attention to culture and music in Armenia’s regions.

With his tour, Arzruni wanted to relay the message that studying music – Armenian music, in particular – is not only a terrific mental discipline but also a great way to get to know one’s own culture and to preserve it. This is easier in Armenia’s rural villages where pride and preservation of cultural identity is more natural as opposed to large urban areas, and one of the reasons he believed in focusing his efforts in the provinces, he said.

This cultural preservation also means trying harder to keep Armenians in Armenia, something FAR focuses on through its programs. More and more, Armenians who are emigrating from Armenia are losing this very valuable cultural identity, Arzruni said. “I would do anything and everything to preserve it and this should be the perspective of everyone in the diaspora.”

On June 22 he wrapped up with one final performance at the Aram Khachaturian House-Museum. The best students from his master classes got the chance to perform alongside Arzruni at the gala concert in Yerevan. The concert included works from the standard repertoire as well as music by Armenian composers.

“This concert aimed to expose and encourage talented, young students from the music schools of Armenia and Artsakh. I want to share my skills and savvy with the younger generation, as well as help them to go further and enhance their abilities,” said Arzruni.

At the end of the concert, Arzruni received a Certificate of Gratitude from FAR for contributing to the development of young musicians. The renowned pianist also received an award from the Aram Khachaturian House-Museum for his long-lasting friendship and support.

FAR’s Education and Science Program Manager Eduard Karapetyan also said that he, too, highly valued Arzruni’s investment in Armenia’s youth and culture. “Considering how well the tour went, I can state that Sahan Arzruni’s patriotic and extensive work will have a huge educational impact on the musical schools and talented children from these regions. We must thank him once more,” he said.

The benefit tour took place under the auspices of the Ministries of Culture and Youth Affairs of Armenia and Artsakh, and was organized by FAR. He reiterated his gratitude to FAR for orchestrating the initiative. “I’m grateful to them for making it happen,” he said.