ARMENIA IN THE SPOTLIGHT AS COUNTRY OF HONOUR AT MIDEM 2015
THE CELEBRATION OF THE “ARMENIAN ELEMENTS OF MUSIC” FOR THE YEAR OF ARMENIAN CULTURE

Paris, 18 March 2015 Midem, the leading international business event dedicated to the music ecosystem, today announces that Armenia will be the Country of Honour for its 2015 edition.

Armenia has officially declared 2015 the Year of Armenian Culture, which involves a series of events worldwide throughout the year to underline the nation’s broad cultural wealth. As part of this initiative, Armenia’s rich and diverse range of musical genres – and also its art, fashion, cuisine and traditions – will be showcased to Midem’s global audience at Cannes, next June, throughout the four days of the event. The country of honour programme at Midem is sponsored by the Tashir Group.

Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and South Eastern Europe, Armenia has a population of only three million, but has a vast diaspora worldwide. The country has produced a wealth of international music talent, including the legendary Charles Aznavour, the Grammy-nominated Armenian-American rock band System of a Down, who have sold more than 40 million records worldwide, Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand, celebrated classical composer Michel Petrossian, and Tigran Hamasyan, the piano prodigy who has worked with Herbie Hancock and made numerous international festival appearances. To build on this global success, Midem is seen as an excellent opportunity for Armenia to initiate international contacts to nurture a more solid domestic music sector.

The Midem Opening Night party on Friday 5 June at the Carlton Hotel, to be co-hosted by the Armenian delegation, will present a variety of talented artists ranging from pop-rock to jazz, such as the jazz outfits Katuner, the Acoustic Colors Quartet, and Miqayel Voskanyan & friends, whose music expresses a modern use of the folk instruments of Armenia. The rock band Dorians, who represented the country in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 with the song “Lonely Planet,” co-written by Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), and Ambassador, a traditional ensemble directed by the worldwide famous violinist Varazdad Khachumyan, will also be performing alongside with DJ BeatMan.

Other Armenian artists due to perform during Midem include the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, founded and conducted by Sergey Smbatyan, who graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and who has worked with London’s Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestra. The critically-acclaimed cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, who has worked with some of the world’s finest orchestras, will also join the programme of this memorable classical evening that will take place at Debussy Auditorium on Sunday 7 June. Meanwhile, the Hover State Chamber Choir, a choral ensemble that tackles all genres from the traditional to the experimental, will perform at the Eglise Unie de Cannes on Saturday 6 June and the Armenian State Jazz Big Band will offer exquisite jazz on Sunday 7 June at the Carlton Hotel.

Midem will also pay tribute to the Armenian composer Komitas (1869–1935), regarded as the founder of modern Armenian classical music, to mark the 80th anniversary of his death. This will be part of the very exclusive Midem VIP dinner on Saturday 6 June in the Carlton Hotel, for which a leading Armenian chef will be flown in to prepare a menu of national gourmet cuisine for the occasion.

In addition, Armenian artist Tigran Tsitoghdzyan has produced two large-scale paintings especially for Midem that will be exhibited during the event at the Carlton Hotel. Also, the young and promising fashion designer Vahan Khachatryan has designed unique original dresses for Midem using ancient Armenian motifs that will also be part of the special exhibition within the Carlton hotel.

Armenia will bring a major political delegation, led by the Minister of Culture, Hasmik Poghosyan along with Armenian painters and fashion designers who will showcase their work throughout Cannes during the tradeshow. “Being the Country of Honour at Midem is a great opportunity for our country, and at the same time, it’s a huge event which brings with it great responsibility. I am confident that Armenia will present both its strong traditions and its innovative cultural ideas at their best,” said Poghosyan.

“2015 will be a special year for Armenia. The country has produced a wealth of international talent in recent decades spanning all genres, either home-grown or emerging from the significant Armenian diaspora worldwide. So it is only fitting that Armenia should benefit from the platform offered by Midem to showcase some of its top artists to a global audience,” said Bruno Crolot, Director of Music Markets, Reed MIDEM.

About Midem – Midem is the leading international b2b event dedicated to the new music ecosystem, with a market, conferences, competitions, networking events and a festival. It’s the place where music makers, cutting-edge technologies, brands & talents come together to enrich the passionate relationship between people & music, transform audience engagement and form new business connections. www.midem.com