On March 20, 2018, the preliminary round of the 2017 President’s Youth Prize competitions in the category of Instrumental Performance was held at the Komitas Museum-Institute, in Yerevan. The President’s Youth Prize is administered by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and sponsored by the Boghossian Foundation (Belgium and Switzerland).
Eighteen-year-old Daniel Melkonyan is among the nine musicians who participated in the preliminary round. He says he grew up in a household where wind instruments held a special place. Inspired by his older brother, who played the saxophone, Daniel always wanted to become a trumpet player. Now a freshman at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan, Daniel won the Ninth International Competition for Junior Trumpet Players, held in 2017 in Bulgaria. Today, he’s a finalist for the President’s Youth Prize. “This competition is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience, meet fellow musicians, and, of course, enhance one’s musical skills,” Daniel says.
Aida Khachikyan, the coordinator of the President’s Prize and an advisor to the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s executive director, says that through projects such as the President’s Youth Prize, the Fund seeks to discover and promote talented Armenian youths, certain that they will go on to become ambassadors of Armenian culture throughout the world.
The President’s Youth Prize was established in 2005. Every year, scores of young musicians, ranging in age between 18 and 27, compete in the Vocals and Instrumental Performance categories. Winners receive a certificate, a medal, and a monetary award equivalent to $2,500 each.
The competitions are held between March 20 and 31, with a preliminary round and a final round, which comprises performances by the finalists. This year, the concluding round will be held on March 23, starting at 11 am, at the Komitas Museum-Institute.