Armenian music and culture showcased at Midem 2015

Armenia at Midem 2015 | © Music of Armenia

The international music community, covering all aspects of the industry’s diverse ecosystem, gathered in Cannes June 5-8 to do business, network and listen to an unprecedented line-up of industry leaders give keynote presentations, discover new talent from across the United States, Asia and Europe and celebrate Armenia – the Midem 2015 Country of Honour.

With 2015 designated Year of Armenian Culture and Armenia chosen as Midem’s Country of Honour, Armenian music and culture was showcased throughout Midem. Live performances from the Hover Chamber Choir, the Armenian State Jazz Orchestra and the country’s State Youth Orchestra, were complemented by live sets covering genres ranging from pop to rock to jazz.

Highlight of the celebration was the Midem Country of Honour dinner, attended by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan. Underlining the diversity of Armenia’s cultural heritage, guests included former Midem Lifetime Achievement Award honouree Charles Aznavour, singers Rosy Armen, Liz Sarian and Maria Guleghina, composers Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor Sergey Smbatyan, cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, film directors Alain Terzian and Robert Guédiguian and painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan. Guests were treated to a special recital from the Hover Chamber Choir in honour of celebrated Armenian priest, musicologist, composer, choirmaster and singer Komitas, who died 80 years ago.

On June 6, the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, Sergey Smbatyan was honoured with the French Medal of Arts and Letters as Knight. Smbatyan received the award from French Minister of Cultural Affairs, Fleur Pellerin during the MIDEM Gala at the InterContinental Carlton in Cannes. 

The evening programmes also included a DJ set by DJ BeatMan and performances by Acoustic Colors Quartet, Miqayel Voskanyan & Friends Band, Katuner, Ambassador and Eileen Khatchadourian.

During the day, Midem attendees, as well as the public had the chance to learn more about Armenian music by attending seminars in the Training Room at Palaise de Festivals. The seminars included "Armenian National Instruments and Ethnography" by Karine Brutyan, "Duduk - The Soul of Armenian Music" by Gevorg Dabaghyan, "History of Armenian Culture" by Tsovinar Chaloyan, "Armenians in the Operas of World Composers" by Alexandre Siranossian and "The Outlines of the Armenian Monodic Music" by Mher Navoyan. 

“The Armenia Country of Honour programme is the most ambitious Midem has ever undertaken. In addition to being a celebration of Armenia’s cultural heritage, it was a showcase to the international music community, designed to support the development of Armenia’s music sector in all its forms,” commented Midem’s Bruno Crolot.