Event organized as part of the Mois de la Francophonie [Month of the French-speaking World]
On March 8, AGBU Lebanon—in collaboration with the Embassy of Armenia in Lebanon and under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, Ghattas Khoury—organized a lecture entitled “Boghos Gélalian et son apport à la musique au Liban” [Boghos Gélalian and his contribution to music in Lebanon] as a tribute to the famed Lebanese-Armenian composer Boghos Gélalian.
Boghos Gélalian (1927-2011) is known for his blend of musical influences, including Armenian and Middle Eastern melodies. During the 1960s and 1970, Gélalian composed pieces for piano, violin, cello, oboe, flute, voice and orchestra for some of the greatest Lebanese musicians, such as Fairouz. He is known for having left a strong imprint on the field of music in Lebanon.
Among the guests at the tribute evening were Gélalian’s wife and son, Raymonde and Serge; the Consul of the Embassy of Armenia to Lebanon, Ashot Vartanian; representative of the Armenian Catholic Church, Monseigneur Krikor Assadourian; the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Haroutiun Samuelian; Cultural Officer of the French Institute of Lebanon, François Tiger; the representative of Minister of Culture, Dr. Nizar Daher; and the AGBU Lebanon District’s interim chairperson, Sylva Libaridian. “Gélalian’s music strives to transcend all national and cultural barriers to reach a universal public,” said Mireille Khanamirian, the cultural advisor to the Armenian Ambassador Samvel Mkrtchyan. “Furthermore, his work reflects the image of a civilized Lebanon, a Lebanon we all dream of.”
The event took place as part of the Mois de la Francophonie [Month of the French-speaking World] in Lebanon, a series of events designed to promote the French language as well as cultural diversity. AGBU Lebanon director Anita Lebiar not only emphasized the importance of the participation of AGBU in the Francophonie events, but also highlighted the collaboration with the embassy of Armenia to Lebanon and the Ministry of Culture and the important role that such collaborations play in bridging cultures.
Lebiar then introduced the panelists who discussed Gélalian’s work: Etienne Kupelian, professor of piano and theoretical subjects at the National Conservatory of Lebanon and the brother-in-law of Gélalian as well as Ghady Rahbani, the son of the prominent Lebanese composer Mansour Rahbani. While Kupelian touched on the personal side, Rahbani spoke about his experience growing up under Gélalian’s tutelage in music. “The entire Rahbani family has grown thanks to Gélalian and his family,” added Rahbani. On the occasion, both speakers requested that Gélalian’s compositions be performed more often at the Lebanese National Conservatory.
AGBU Lebanon will continue its participation in the Mois de la Francophonie with a lecture on April 5 about the influence of Armenians on Lebanese architecture by architect Raffi Gergian entitled “L’architecture arménienne au Liban : une question d’identité.” The lecture will discuss eminent Lebanese-Armenian architects of the 20th century, who produced monuments that marked the history of Lebanon, such as the Lebanese Parliament, El Aabed clock, St Peter’s Basilica and Paul de Harissa, among others.
For more information about AGBU Lebanon, please visit http://agbulebanon.org.
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org