The Academy of Classical Music was held within the framework of the Armenia International Music Festival from 1st to 30th October in Yerevan, initiated by the Music for Future Foundation (M4FF) and supported by the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC) and Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO). Armenia’s talks to Anna Ter-Hovakimyan, Director of the "Music for the Future" Foundation about the Academy, as well as its future plans.

The Academy of Classical Music was held in Yerevan on the initiative of the Music for Future Foundation What are the goals of such scholarship programmes, and how do you assess the results?

The idea of holding such a large-scale project in Yerevan within the framework of the M4FF scholarship programme arose after the recent participation of our foundation in the Middle East Classical Music Academy, which took place as part of the InClassica International Music Festival in Dubai. This event is held annually by the European Foundation for Support of Culture, whose president is Konstantin Ishkhanov. In Dubai, our participants took part in approximately fifty masterclasses with some of the most accomplished masters of the performing arts, and also performed in concerts. It was an unforgettable educational journey for them in every sense, and formed the inspiration for us transfer this to Armenia as well. Thanks to the efforts of the ASSO and EUFSC, our partners for this initiative, it became possible for us to carry out this monumental project within the framework of the annual Armenia International Music Festival, combining concerts with masterclasses featuring some of the greatest musicians of our time including Gil Shaham, Steven Isserlis, Pavel Gililov and Dora Schwarzberg. Our plan is to repeat this project every year. If we talk about the short-term results, we can see these in our students’ performances during the Talented Armenia concert series following these masterclasses — which took place as a result of the academy. It's too early to talk about long-term results, but I think if we can continue this pace, the results will be tangible in the near future. The main thing is not to stop there.

How do you see your cooperation with the European Foundation for the Support of Culture in the future?

We are already discussing plans for next year with Konstantin Ishkhanov, President of the EUFSC, and will announce further details in the near future. Our goals coincide, and I can say that I believe us to be on the same wavelength. The various projects in the field of classical music that Konstantin Ishkhanov brings to life around the world, and the attitude that he has to Armenian culture, are very important to us. He said in a recent interview: "Today it is extremely important to support classical music and the interest of the younger generation in this unique art form", and I fully share this point of view with him.

What can we expect in the near future? What initiatives will the Foundation promote?

We will continue our cooperation with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra as we did last year, with our students participating in masterclasses with all the artists who will perform with the orchestra this concert season, as well as having practical classes with orchestra concertmasters — something that I think is very important. They will be present for orchestra rehearsals and, of course, at concerts. We are discussing a very important educational project for the various regions of Armenia with Maestro Smbatyan and have already secured partners for this, and I think in the near future we will be able to announce the start of this initiative. Regional music schools are in great need of our support right now, and we will definitely work with them to solve the problems of education in the performing arts locally.