The winner of the Ninth Aram Khachaturian International Competition and Festival has been named as 19-year-old Andrei Ionita. Launched in Yerevan on June 6, this year’s competition focused on the cello and celebrated the 110th anniversary of its namesake, Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian.
Ionita from Romania received his award, worth $15,000, at a gala concert and ceremony on June 14. He also receives a concert performance with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra as part of his prize. Second prize, worth $10,000, went to Anna Morozova from Russia, while third prize, worth $5000, was shared between Aleksandra Perlova from Russia and Gayane Khachatryan from Armenia. Khachatryan and pianist Armen Babakhanian were also awarded a special Midem prize from director Cornelia Much; the two will perform during the 2014 Midem Festival at Cannes in February.
The Khachaturian competition is run jointly by the RA Ministry of Culture, 'Aram Khachaturian-competition' Cultural Foundation and Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory. During the opening ceremony the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, which has been the official orchestra of the competition since 2007, and cellist Gautier Capuçon performed Khachaturian’s Cello Concerto. See pictures in Gramophone’s gallery.