Alan Chircop: “I liked Armenia, I felt like it’s my second home”
– When did you visit Armenia? What was your first impression?
– I was in Armenia in 2016. First of all, I was very impressed by the hospitality of Armenian people. The serenity that I felt in Yerevan was a tremendous joy. I really felt like my second home.
– What sites did you visit during your trip? Can you describe your feelings?
– I must say that the nature in Armenia is very beautiful and during the trip, I was full of serenity and harmony… I was lucky to see Ararat on the way to the temple of Garni. Also, I visited Geghard monastery which is carved out of the cliff rocks. I really perceived the spirit of this sacred place, and it is my treasure that I bought from my visit to Armenia.
– Did you taste Armenian traditional food?
– When I spoke to my friends about Armenia, I told them how nature is preserved and everything is so natural that you feel the real taste of food. Vegetables, fruits are not poisoned by chemicals, as we are used to. Meat, fresh fish, everything is amazing. Of course, I should say about Ararat cognac. Now I also have this cognac at my house, it is something incredible.
– As far as I know, you visited Komitas Museum-Institute. Your opinion about Komitas and his music, did it touch your heart?
– I have heard of Komitas before, but when I visited Komitas Museum and got familiarized with his life, I got the better understanding of his music. You know, Komitas is something new, a discovery for us, his music is very unique, gentle, crystal. We do not know about him as much as we do know about Aram Khachaturian.
– Being a conductor, what can you say about Armenians’ attitude towards young musicians?
– I was amazed by the attitude towards gifted children. When I was conducting and accompanying the “New Names” International Festival of young musicians, I saw that the Armenians are very proud of talented kids and they give tremendous support to them. So, I think this is the key to why you have so many good musicians. Another thing that I would like to stress is that you promote the traditional instruments of your country and lead the young performers to the high level of professionalism, as we can see when they come to Malta.
– Armenian musicians from the State Symphony Orchestra performed in Malta with the Maltese orchestra. Is it possible that once we can see the Maltese musicians in Armenia?
– Two years ago I was very happy to initiate something that later led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between two countries. Now we are very happy to collaborate and to exchange experience. Of course, our aim is to consolidate our collaboration and to have our musicians perform in Armenia. I will also have concerts as a conductor in Yerevan with the Armenian State Symphony Orches