Celebrating Charles Aznavour with Egypt's Arax Armenian choir

Ahram Online , Monday 8 Dec 2014

On 12 December Arax Armenian choir will perform the best hits of Charles Aznavour in the Nubarian Armenian School in Heliopolis

Arax Choir
Arax Choir during their 2013 performance (left), Charles Aznavour (Photo: Reuters, 2009)

The songs by the internationally renowned Armenian-French singer and songwriter Charles Aznavour will be performed by Arax Armenian choir.

The Armenian minority in Egypt, which according to estimates does not exceed 6,000 people in Cairo and Alexandria, is particularly active in presenting their culture through different art forms. The Arax Choir is one of such outlets, holding concerts on regular occasions. Among the noteworthy events held by the choir in the recent years was a concert commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978).

Operating under the Armenian Prelacy of Cairo, the Arax Choir goes back to the 1990s, when its name was Zavartnots and it was conducted by David Zalyan. The conductor was succeeded by Hrant Aghajanian, a music and arts teacher, an important mediator of Armenian culture in Egypt. In 2003, Aghajanian was replaced by Mihran Ghazelian, the choir's conductor and artistic director until date and who changed its name to Arax.

The first performance of the choir under the name of Arax was on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of foundation of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (in 303 AD), the oldest church built by a state in the world and the spiritual headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since becoming Arax, the choir has given a number of concerts in Cairo and Alexandria. 

Friday 12 December, 7pm
Belekdanian Hall, Nubarian Armenian School, 5 Menouf street (off Cleopatra street), Heliopolis

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