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May 13, 2009. It was another beautiful day. Thanks to Jack Johnston's custom-drawn map, the "All Men are Brothers" signed orchestral score (now containing some 100 autographs collected between Mt. Monadnock and Arlington,) and I arrived at the Hovhaness/Chakmakjian home intact and precisely on time.
On the front lawn of the house where Alan Hovhaness had grown up, preceded by an introduction from Bob Mirak of the Hovhaness Commemorative Committee, and touching reminiscences by Jack Johnston, who had lived in the home next door, the ArLiNa Trio gave one of the most beautiful and meaningful performances-music of Alan Hovhaness and the great Armenian musicologist and composer Komitas Vartabed-that I had ever been privileged to attend. Father Arakel Aljalian of the St. James Armenian Church, where Hovhaness had been organist, spoke of Hovhaness' tenure at St. James and of his music which is still part of their liturgy.
1: The concert at 5 Blossom Street, where Alan Hovhaness grew up.. The ArLiNa Trio (Armenoui Keheian, violin; Lilit Muradyan, viola; and Nara Shahbazyan, cello,) gave a moving and never-to-be-forgotten performance of Hovhaness and Komitas.
2: Martin Berkofsky arrives at Blossom Street with the signed "All Men are Brothers" orchestral score.
3: Jack Johnston's custom map. One could not get lost between the Minuteman Bikeway and the Hovhaness/Chakmakjian house.
Life and achievements of composer Alan Hovhaness commemorated at his childhood home.
Arlington, Mass. - Music lovers, residents of Blossom Street, Arlington, and members of the Committee to Commemorate Alan Hovhaness gathered on May 13 at the 5 Blossom Street home of the famous composer and Arlington High School alumnus (Class of 1929) to celebrate his life and achievements.
Robert Mirak, chairperson of the committee, opened the program by reminding the audience of Hovhaness' achievements, to be memorialized by a monument on the grounds of the Jefferson Cutter House, which was to be unveiled on May 17.
Dr. Jack Johnston, committee member, an initiator of the project, and neighbor of the young Hovhaness, reviewed the history of Blossom Street and recounted his experiences with the composer and his family.
Martin Berkofsky, a world-renowned pianist and Hovhaness authority who was to play at Sunday's concert, arrived at the gathering after a run from Mt. Monadnock, New Hampshire, to commemorate Hovhaness' life and his devotion to mountains, which inspired many of his famous compositions.
Three talented Boston University School of Music students, Armenoui Keheian, violin, Lilit Muradyan, viola, and Nara Shahbazyan, cello, (ArLiNa trio) played beautiful renditions of Hovhaness's works as well as compositions of the great Armenian musicologist, Gomidas Vartabed.
The program, a gem of a moving interlude on a magnificent afternoon under the maple trees of Blossom Street, concluded with remarks of Reverend Arakel Aljalian of St. James Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown, where Hovhaness played the organ, acted as choirmaster, and composed "sharagans" (hymns), one of which St. James uses every Lenten season as part of its Holy Liturgy.
The Spadafora family, current owners of 5 Blossom Street, graciously opened their grounds for the program.