Yay for social media! It’s thanks to Facebook that Ani Batikian agreed to fill in, and learn the Hohvaness Violin Concerto when local Armenian violinist Catherine Manoukian was unable to perform the December 11 concert with Sinfonia Toronto. I’ll get to that story in a sec.
I am fascinated by Alan Hohvaness, and can’t wait to hear his music. I am also of two cultures – a Canadian of Japanese-English descent and while I definitely dealt with some cultural self-identity crises, came through it with a strong sense of being a “combo person”, and enjoying the best of all worlds. That’s the beauty of multi-culturalism. Alan Hohvaness, 1911-2000, created music that blended East and West. He grew up near Boston to an Amenian father and a Scottish mother. His upbringing was American. A composer with a curious mind, Hohvaness experimented with not only western musical forms, but musical influences of many eastern cultures, such as Indian, Korean, and Japanese. Then Sinfonia Toronto music director, Nurhan Arman, pointed out to me the following:
-The cancellation by a local Armenian soloist to play an Armenian composer’s music
- replacement within a few hours with another Armenian violinist from the other side of the ocean
-Ani Batikian introduced herself to Nurhan on Facebook and he engaged her via FB email
- Ani Batikian is from Armenian now living in Glasgow, Scotland
- Hovhaness is Armenian by father but his mother was from Scotland
Rather an interesting turn of events! She makes her Sinfonia Toronto debut on Friday, December 11 at Glenn Gould Studio. The balance of the programme features PUCCINI’s Three Minuets; KHACHATURIAN’s Masquerade Suite; STRAUSS’ Die Fledermaus Overture; and BARTOK’s Rumanian Dances.
Tix: $40 – $12 and available at www.sinfoniatoronto.com or by calling Roy Thomson Hall’s box office at 416 872 4255. The box office is located at King and Simcoe. Glenn Gould Studio is at 250 Front Street.
Look forward to seeing you there!