During a ceremony held at the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund headquarters in Yerevan, Nune Yerkanyan received the Hrair and Martha Albarian Scholarship for being the top student of the Komitas State Conservatory. The scholarship certificate as well as a diploma of recognition were presented to the young musician by Aida Khachikyan, advisor to the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s executive director.
Since 2008, benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Hrair and Martha Albarian have been awarding the scholarship to the best students of the Conservatory. Comprising the equivalent of US $500, the scholarship is granted to outstanding students who also perform in concerts and solo recitals. Annually, the winner is selected by the benefactors from a list of candidates submitted by the Conservatory to the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
Nune Yerkanyan is a junior at the Conservatory, studying conducting — a field that remains almost completely male-dominated across the world, with only a few dozen female conductors currently at the helm of orchestras. Nune is still unsure as to whether she would like to become an orchestra conductor, since she’s more inclined toward specialization as a choirmaster or singer. “I would like to specialize in vocal performance, but haven’t decided yet,” she says. “Directing a choir is also unique. It is essentially the same as conducting an orchestra, but there are some very important and subtle differences. As a choirmaster, one must notice, feel, and rectify each incorrect tonality or note at the exact right moment.”
“As yet I don’t have experience leading a large choir,” Nune continues. “But I’d love to have the opportunity to work with a large, complex ensemble. On the other hand, I’m drawn strongly to the prospect of a career as a singer.” Currently Nune studies at the Conservatory free of charge. As for the Hrair and Martha Albarian Scholarship she has just received, she plans on using it on her future education. “The scholarship will become the seed money, which I will supplement by working, toward my master’s education,” she says and adds, “I am deeply grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Albarian for their support. The timing of the scholarship couldn’t have been better, as it gives me a fresh incentive to pursue my dreams with renewed energy and inspiration.”
Whether she ends up becoming a conductor, a choirmaster, or a singer, Nune Yerkanyan is determined to justify the support of her benefactors, thus helping further advance the art of Armenian classical music on the world stage.