After two years of lock down due COVID-19, St. John Armenian Church of San Francisco once again open its doors to present classical music by professional musicians.
On Saturday, May 14, 2022, UCLA VEM Ensemble string quartet and the soprano soloist performed a very impressive and moving concert.
Fr. Mesrop Ash, welcomed everyone and expressed his gratitude to the performers and invited Professor Movses Pogossian, Director of UCLA Armenian Music Program to host the event.
Professor Pogossian, thanked Fr. Mesrop for organizing the event. He introduced the performers and gave a brief history about the VEM Ensemble, and the UCLA Armenian program, he also provided insights into the works on the program examining its social and historic context.
The program consisted of string quartets by Komitas/Aslamazyan which were performed with glowing tone and passion, followed by Haydn and Shostakovich string quartets and Khatchaturian Valse from the Masquerade Suite. These pieces demonstrated the musicians exceptional expressive, poetic depth and virtuosity. They performed these pieces with full of emotions and sensitivity along with their brilliant technical abilities and their musicality and expressiveness.
In Addition to the string quartet, the VEM ensemble soprano soloist Ms. Lena Marandi, performed art songs by Kartalyan, Komitas and Hovhaness. She instilled emotion into every note and carefully crafted each phrase of the pieces.
It was a very spirited performance and inspiring to listen to these non-Armenian artists perform the work of our legend.
The VEM Ensemble won the hearts of the audience and thunderous applauses. They were able to recreate through their instruments the pieces constructed in each composers' mind. Each piece was played elaborately and beautifully.
The following day Sunday May 15, The Vem Ensemble performed for Sunday School Students and teachers and parents. The students were attentive and memorized by the performance. It was wonderful for students to experience quality entertainment
Once again, we thank Professor Movses Pogossian and the VEM ensemble for sharing their talents.