& arts culture Mike Conners is as

arts
arts
culture&&
culture
the armenian
reporter
the armenian
reporter
May 17, 2008
May 17, 2008
Mike Conners is as
dashing as ever at 82
See page C6
Egoyan at
Cannes
Eye of
the poet
Sam Saga:
artist, feminist,
innovative thinker
Page C3
Page C4
Page C8
Nina Hachigian’s glass is half full
by Armine
Iknadossian
The Nina (or Niña, as the Spanish would
call her) was one of the three ships that
sailed towards America 500-plus years
ago. Nina was the only one that made
it back home without a hitch. The Santa
Maria ran aground and was completely
destroyed while the Pinta disappeared for
a while before finally making it back to
Spain. Although we can debate whether
the Nina brought anything but suffering
for the natives she encountered, we can
say that with her came a new and important era for the western hemisphere.
So it is appropriate to introduce Nina
Hachigian as another vessel who brings
with her a pertinent message for the future of America in the next century. Her
newest book, co-authored with Mona
Sutphen, is The Next American Century:
How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers
Rise (Simon & Schuster). In it, she states
boldly – perhaps naively – that the United States has nothing to fear from the
“pivotal powers” of China, India, Japan,
Europe, and Russia. In fact, Hachigian
would like us to believe that America can
benefit from them. How would she know?
Well, her résumé speaks for itself, and it is
longer than an intercoastal sea voyage.
Nina Hachigian is a senior vice-president and director for the California office of the Center for American Progress, a think tank. For some years, she
was the director of the Center for Asia
Pacific Policy at RAND, another think
tank, where she developed and directed
research projects on public-policy issues
pertaining to Asia. Her own research focuses on national security and technology issues in Asia. She was a senior fellow
at the Pacific Council on International
Policy and an International Affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
She also served as executive assistant to
Nina Hachigian with
Leon Mayer of Friends
of the Glendale Public
Library. Photo: Chuck
Wike.
President Clinton’s national security advisor and as an attorney advisor to the
chair of the Federal Trade Commission.
Add to these her stint as attorney at the
prestigious firm of O’Melveny & Meyers
and policy consultant for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and you can see why people
might take her seriously. Hachigian also
worked as a human-rights law instructor
for the U.S. Navy, was a term member
of the Council on Foreign Relations, is
a Next Generation term member for the
Pacific Council, and serves as a visiting
scholar of the Center for International
Security and Cooperation at Stanford
University. Impressed? There’s more.
Hachigian’s writing career includes essays in Foreign Affairs and The Washington Quarterly as well as op-ed pieces in
the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
and South China Morning Post. Her first
book with Lily Wu, The Information
Revolution in Asia, is mandatory reading
for a course at UCLA. She holds a B.S.
from Yale and a J.D. from Stanford Law
School. On February 15, she was a panelist on the provocative political talk show
Real Time With Bill Maher.
In her latest book, Hachigian addresses the issue of America’s potential loss of its superpower status in
the coming century, which would inevitably effect its safety, economy, and
prestige. But, according to Hachigian,
“this is a rare moment in history,” for
none of the world’s big powers are
U.S. adversaries. In fact, she assures
us that the “pivotal powers” of China,
Europe, India, Japan, and Russia may
even have key goals in common with
the United States. With India as an important ally in the so-called struggle
against terrorism, China’s efforts to
contain pandemic disease, and Russia
trying to keep nuclear devices out of
terrorists’ hands, we can look forward
to a century where powerful countries
have similar visions, she argues. Along
with Japan and Europe, which can be
of great help when tackling the issue of
climate change, these countries prove
to be on the same page with the United
States. In fact, Hachigian claims that
their gains can largely help, rather than
hurt, America’s continuing prosperity,
growth, and, to some extent, even its
values. The message? “We live in an era
of opportunity, not of loss.”
This doesn’t mean the United States
can simply rest on its laurels, however.
Hachigian warns: “To take advantage of
this moment, the United States must get
its own house in order, making sure that
American children can compete, American workers can adjust, America’s military remains cutting-edge, and American
diplomacy entices rather than alienates.”
And while America must be prepared
for the possibility that a hostile superpower may one day emerge, “it has to be
careful not to turn a distant, uncertain
threat into an immediate one,” allowing
for cooperation, not resistance.
Hachigian opens her book with a paradox: “The domestic is international, the
international is domestic.” What she
has realized over the years, after working in the White House, after seeing
a Democrat, then a Republican, take
charge of the country, is that during
this uncertain era, we must focus on
new thinking – on unifying, efficiently
negotiating, and pooling our resources
and the resources of the pivotal powers. She also insists that America must
have the courage “to reinvent itself at
the height of its power to continue its
long run of prosperity and security.” A
Democrat at heart, Hachigian quotes
former President Bill Clinton at the
close of her book: “America has found
that it is the weakness of great nations,
not their strength, that threatens [our]
vision for tomorrow.”
I caught up with Hachigian after her
appearance at the Glendale Public Library event on April 15, sponsored by
Friends of the Glendale Public Library,
when she answered many questions
about Iraq and signed copies of her book.
I asked her how she first got involved
with international affairs. “Family discussions,” she said. “My dad has always
been interested in following international affairs, and his dad was born in
Musa Dagh. My mom is from Germany,
so we visited there a lot. I traveled a lot
in college; South Africa during Apartheid, did a lot of photography, went to
Armenia and Afghanistan in 1988, right
after the Soviet pullout. I wasn’t much of
a rebel in high school, but I made up for
it in college.” Never satisfied with simply
the status quo or the “dark and heavy demon of inertia,” Hachigian urges Americans to continue with vigor and hope,
reminding us that as a nation, we have
f
survived much worse. connect:
nextamericancentury.com
Newly published collection of writings honors Dr. Dickran Kouymjian
FRESNO, Calif. – A collection of writings in honor of Dr. Dickran Kouymjian,
Haig and Isabel Berberian professor of
Armenian studies and director of the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State,
was published last month.
Titled Between Paris and Fresno: Armenian Studies in Honor of Dickran Kouymjian, the collection (or festschrift) was
released by Mazda Publishers and edited by Barlow Der Mugrdechian, a longtime colleague of Dr. Kouymjian’s in the
Armenian Studies Program. The articles
included in the 816-page tome underline
the broad spectrum of Dr. Kouymjian’s
interests in Armenian, Islamic, classical,
and Byzantine history and art, the humanities, literature, film, genocide studies, and Saroyan studies.
The official languages of Between Paris
and Fresno are English and French, with
37 articles in English and nine in French.
The 46 contributors comprise top Armenian and non-Armenian scholars from
around the world.
The idea of preparing a festschrift
was formulated in late 2003 and a first
announcement and solicitation for ar-
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture
Copyright © 2008 by Armenian Reporter llc
All Rights Reserved
Contact [email protected] with announcements
To advertise, write [email protected] or call 1-201-226-1995
C2 ticles began early in 2004, coinciding
with several significant milestones in
Dr. Kouymjian’s life: his 70th birthday
(in 2004); his 45th year as a university
teacher; and his 15th year as holder of
the Haig and Isabel Berberian Chair of
Armenian Studies.
In addition to serving as coordinator-director of the Armenian Studies
Program at California State University,
Fresno, for the last 31 years, Professor
Kouymjian has, since 1989, been the
holder of the Haig and Isabel Berberian
Chair of Armenian Studies.
On page C1: Mike Conners, a Fresno native who made it big in Hollywood, is
being honored this week by the USC Intitute of Armenian Studies. He recalls
his career, noting that he insisted on having Mannix, the detective he would
portray for eight seasons, be Armenian. See story on page C6.
The publication of Between Paris and
Fresno was made possible through a
grant from the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund (New York).
Between Paris and Fresno is available
through the Armenian Studies Program
at Fresno State. For ordering information
and to take advantage of special pricing
for a limited time, e-mail [email protected]
resno.edu. Correction
The iconic portrait of William Saroyan that ran
on page C6 of the Reporter’s Apr. 26, 2008 issue
(and also on C12 of the Aug. 11, 2007 issue) was
run without attribution. It should be credited
to photographer Paul Kalinian, of Fresno, Calif.
(www.kalinian-saroyan.com), who captured the
image in 1976.
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008
Egoyan heads back to Cannes with Adoration
World premier on
Thursday, May 22
by Mary
Nersessian
Sagharian
TORONTO – For
the sixth time in Canadian-Armenian
filmmaker Atom Egoyan’s stellar career,
one of his feature films is in the running
for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize at
the glamorous Cannes festival. Cannes
officials announced in April that Egoyan’s new drama, Adoration, has made the
cut and will be included in the Official Selection category of the 61st Cannes Film
Festival in the south of France.
Adoration, which Egoyan himself
wrote and directed, is among 22 films in
competition for the coveted Palme d’Or
at the yearly extravaganza of red-carpet
screenings, VIP parties, and wheeling
and dealing among Hollywood heavyweights. It marks his first return to the
industry’s paramount festival since his
feature-length film, Where The Truth Lies,
which also screened at Cannes.
Egoyan is a film-fest favorite because
he’s a “genuine auteur,” with his own
unique storytelling methods, said Steve
Gravestock, Toronto Film Festival’s associated director of Canadian Programming.
“Cannes is very much an auteur-based
festival so his work is very much part of
their raison d’être. He deals with very
challenging subject matter in intriguing and intelligent ways and pushes the
medium forward as an art form, which
is always appealing,” Gravestock added.
Egoyan’s film will be up against a strong
lineup of works by veteran directors
Clint Eastwood, Steven Soderbergh, and
Brazil’s Fernando Meirelles, best known
for his Oscar-nominated City of God.
“It’s always a little overwhelming when
you look at the competition,” Egoyan recently told The Globe and Mail newspaper
of his fellow filmmakers. “Having been
on the jury there as well, however, it begins to make more sense once you’re in
the middle of it,” he said. “From the outside, it seems a little crazy to just throw
all these movies together, but they are
selected quite carefully. There’s an internal logic that you don’t really get until
you’re actually there.”
Other big names featured in the festival’s non-competitive program include
Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Woody
Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Most notably, Egoyan will be competing against
his Canadian peers, whose feature film,
Mary Nersessian Sagharian is a Toronto-based
journalist who works for Canada’s CTV news network. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail,
the Toronto Star, the Quill & Quire, Wish magazine
and Horizon Magazine. For more, visit www.­
marynersessian.com.
Devon Bostick stars
as Simon in Atom
Egoyan’s Adoration.
Blindness, is a co-production between
Canada, Brazil, and Japan. Blindness,
which has been booked for the prestigious opening-night slot, is directed by
Meirelles and written by Canadian filmmaker Don McKellar. It stars Julianne
Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Danny Glover
as inhabitants of a city plagued by a
blindness epidemic.
“It’s both terrifying and thrilling,” Toronto-native McKellar recently said of
the Cannes honor. “We are thrilled to
be there with Atom – he’s a friend and
his film is really good – so I see it as
a two-pronged Canadian attack rather
than a competition,” McKellar told The
Canadian Press.
Egoyan’s Adoration features actors such as Scott Speedman, Rachel
Blanchard, and his wife and longtime
muse, Arsinée Khanjian. The film, set
slightly in the future in a Toronto high
school, follows a young man possessed
with the notion that he is the spawn of
two historical figures.
Egoyan has said he was inspired by a
true story about a man who persuades
his pregnant girlfriend to board an El
Al flight, carrying a bomb in her handbag. The story, or a version of it, is read
in the main character’s high school and
this triggers his imagination.
Egoyan sets the story in the high-tech,
fast-geared virtual world populated by
today’s youth, he said. He stumbled
upon this world in part through his interactions with teenagers as part of the
Reel Canada program, which screens Canadian movies in high schools.
The celebrated Victoria-born, Toronto-
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008 based director has
had an illustrious history at Cannes. His
connection to the festival
goes as far back as 1989,
when Speaking Parts premiered at the Directors’
Fortnight. Not only was
Egoyan awarded the International
Critics’
Prize for his film
Exotica in 1994
and for The Sweet
Hereafter in 1997, he himself served as a
juror in 1996.
Egoyan’s distinctive voice was evident
by the time Exotica screened, Gravestock
said. “If anything, his grasp of narrative
has become stronger and more daring.
For example, Ararat is one of the few
films in the last ten years or so which
has a genuinely postmodern narrative,”
Adoration, official selection,
2008 Festival de Cannes
Gravestock added. Ararat, Egoyan’s 2002
work about the Armenian Genocide,
was also featured as an Official Selection at Cannes.
Other Egoyan films that have been
in the running for the Palme d’Or at
Cannes include Felicia’s Journey (1999)
and Where the Truth Lies (2005).
“Atom’s work has been featured very
prominently at Cannes, often in the official competition, and that has helped
establish not only him but English Canadian cinema internationally,” Gravestock said. “One of the high points would
obviously be the screening of The Sweet
Hereafter at Cannes in 1996, where it
was one of the most eagerly anticipated
movies at the
festival that
year.”
“ S ele ction
at Cannes has
obviously created
awareness of his work,” Gravestock
continued. “He’s easily one of the most
recognized Canadian filmmakers internationally - and deservedly so.”
This year’s feature-film jury is headed
by Sean Penn and includes actress Natalie Portman and Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron. The festival runs from May 14
f
to May 25. Directed by: Atom EGOYAN
Country: CANADA
Year: 2007
Duration: 100 minutes
Actors
Rachel BLANCHARD - Rachel
Devon BOSTICK - Simon
Noam JENKINS - Sami
Arsinée KHANJIAN - Sabine
Scott SPEEDMAN - Tom
Kenneth WELSH - Morris
Credits
Synopsis
Atom EGOYAN - Director
Phillip BARKER - Set Designer
Mychael DANNA - Music
Susan SHIPTON - Film Editor
Paul SAROSSY - Cinematography
Atom EGOYAN - Screenplay
An adolescent, Simon, reinvents
his life on the Internet. His story provokes strong reactions throughout
the world. Cyberspace is a forum for
victims. But is it a place for redemption?
C3
Craig Varjabedian making a photograph, New Mexico 1998. Photo: Cindy Lane.
Craig Varjabedian has the eye of the poet
Craig Varjabedian’s
camera captures the
wondrous beauty of the
West
by Nareg
Seferian
SANTA FE, New Mexico - He was in his
mid-teens, taking pictures for the high
school newspaper. One day, they had to go
into town for a shoot when two colleagues
got into an argument. Craig Varjabedian
didn’t want any part of it, so he decided to
walk the 20 or so miles home.
It was snowing that day, outside of
Detroit, but Craig noticed something on
his way: a gallery, and a man with a thick
white beard hanging some pictures on
the wall inside. The man noticed this curious young onlooker, and gestured for
him to come inside.
Young Craig was mesmerized with
what he saw. Mountains, rivers, trees…
all of these moments captured by the
lens. The old man got him into a conversation, and they were soon chatting
away about cameras and photography.
That old man turned out to be Ansel
Adams.
Craig Varjabedian was born in Windsor, Ontario. The family moved across
the river to Detroit in his early teens. Although he didn’t grow up in an Armenian
community, Varjabedian is very aware of
his Armenian heritage. He speaks fondly
of his grandfather, who would lovingly
C4 A very young Craig Varjabedian with a Diana camera. Photo: Suren
Varjabedian.
Above: Craig Varjabedian. Above right: Tree in bloom. Craig Varjabedian noticed this tree in bloom while driving one day. It sits just underneath a cliff where
the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s half-mile linear-accelerator and neutron-scanning center is located. He had to take special permission to photograph
the tree, and the blossoms fell just two days afterwards.
call him Krikor, and reveres him for havVarjabedian bought his first camera Later he studied art, graphic design, and
ing overcome the hardships on his path with money saved by mowing lawns and photography at the University of Michifrom Garin (Erzerum) to a new, at times was fortunate to gain some experience gan. Though Varjabedian was interested
difficult life in Canada.
through his high-school newspaper. in photography early on, that chance
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008
Pete the donkey did
not make for an easy
photograph. “He
would not hold still,”
Craig Varjabedian
recalls. “He’d back up a
few steps and then go
forward a few steps…
I’d try to anticipate
when he would settle
down and get ready
for him, and then he’d
move his rump toward
the camera.” Despite
an obstinate subject,
the final picture made
for an appropriate
commemoration of
the bicentennial of the
Martinez Hacienda in
Taos.
meeting with Ansel Adams, one of the
biggest names and most celebrated photographers of the 20th century, served
as a seminal experience.
“The idea of being able to go out there
and taking all these beautiful pictures
just stole my heart,” Varjabedian recalls.
“Thirty-five years later, I am still on that
same path, on this romantic quest. And
the world, the universe, has been pretty
agreeable,” he adds with a smile.
Varjabedian describes his work as stemming from a “traditional, American West
Coast photography background.” The formal, technical aspects of organizing his
compositions follow this model, and he
even still uses regular film and develops
the pictures “the old-fashioned way.” But
Varjabedian’s subjects may not necessarily always fit in with this. For example,
black-and-white photography is very
much part of his style, “although some
images cry to be in color,” he admits.
Varjabedian studied further at the
Rochester Institute of Technology in
New York and, upon the advice of a
friend, sought to finish his graduate
work by carrying out a thesis project in
Santa Fe. “Ever since I arrived, I became
enchanted with this place.” he says. “In
New Mexico, I felt, for the first time, like
I had come home. I have an adopted, extended family here.” He has been living
in Santa Fe with his wife and daughter
for over 20 years now.
While the Southwest itself is an inspiration, Varjabedian credits Ansel Adams,
of course, as a major influence of his
work, and also Paul Caponigro, a local
Santa Fe photographer, under whom
he worked as a studio assistant. They
had met back in Rochester and then, by
chance, once again in New Mexico.
All of these chance events, these coincidences big and small, have had a major
impact on Varjabedian’s worldview. “I feel
blessed to be able to do what I like to do
and make a living while I’m at it,” he says.
Varjabedian’s book, Four and Twenty
Photographs: Stories from Behind the
Lens, published last year, features some
of his best work and includes texts, cowritten by Robin Jones, describing the
ideas, settings, and inspirations behind
his photographs. Another collection is
planned for release next year.
But what is Varjabedian most proud of?
“My daughter,” he immediately responds.
“You can intellectually understand how
great it is to create a human being, but
until you have a child of your own, you
can’t fully comprehend it. They are miraf
cles, unfolding every day.” connect
craigvarjabedian.com
It took months of visits, taking notes and diagrams, and consulting astronomical charts before the right conditions for this photograph were determined. Craig Varjabedian describes the moment he first
noticed the sight one wintry April day: “Spellbound, I watched the moon rise over the chapel. I followed its path with my eyes, its light flickering through the pockets of clear sky. And then, for an instant, time
froze.” Some months later, Varjabedian caught that instant on camera.
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008 C5
Mike Connors is as dashing as ever at 82
Actor is among the
honorees of the USC
Institute of Armenian
Studies
by Connie Llanos
ENCINO, Calif. - As he stared at the photos laid out on his honey-colored bookcase, he couldn’t contain his smile.
Still tall, dark, and handsome at 82 years
old, Mike Connors, world-famous television and film actor, grabbed one of the
gold-framed pictures from behind him.
The images were all action shots of him
– climbing on the back of Dean Martin,
dancing with Frank Sinatra, laughing hysterically with Bob Newhart, to name a few.
In all of them he sported a huge smile.
“I was lucky to get in the business when
I did,” Connors said.
“It was the end of the period of real
Hollywood glamour.... We had great
times.”
With more than 40 films under his
belt and several hit television shows
including the top-rated detective show
Mannix, Connors has a lot to be recognized for.
This weekend Connors will be recognized by the USC Institute of Armenian
Studies, which is holding its third annual fundraising banquet to celebrate 50
years of progress in the Armenian community of California and raise funds for
the institute’s endowment.
Harut Sassounian, president of the
United Armenian Fund and one of the
event organizers, said picking Connors
as an honoree was an easy choice. “He is
an extremely accomplished man and we
are proud of him and proud that he is an
Armenian,” Sassounian said.
Sitting in the living room of his ranchstyle home in Encino, California, in a
recent interview, Connors reflected on
his life and career.
A native son of Fresno
One thing he is sure of is that he has no
regrets.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said.
Mike Connors was born Krikor Ohanian in Fresno in 1925. His mother was
a first-generation Armenian-American;
his father had migrated to the United
States from Armenia when he was just
13 years old, escaping the violence in the
Ottoman Empire.
At the time, Connors said, prejudice
against Armenians was rampant in the
Fresno area. “They called us Fresno Indians,” he said.
During and after the Armenian Genocide, there was a large migration of Armenians to Fresno because of the area’s
climate. The immigrants, many of them
gifted farmers, quickly excelled in the
grape-growing business. Connors said
for some Fresno residents it was too
much success in too little time.
“There were country clubs that wouldn’t
let us in, and some neighborhoods
wouldn’t let you buy a house,” he said.
As he made his way through high
school, the tall and naturally athletic Connors made his mark as a top athlete – he
C6 Mike Connors in his many different roles.
played every sport in high school – and
student. He had intentions of going to
college to be a lawyer like his father, but
in September 1943, just three months after graduating high school, he was drafted into the Air Force and sent overseas to
fight in the Second World War.
Connors spent three years in the special services. His task was to keep soldiers
conditioned and physically fit. It was during a scheduled Air Force basketball game
that he was scouted by a basketball coach
from the University of California, Los
Angeles. Connors was given a basketball
scholarship to attend the school and his
plans to follow in the footsteps of his dad
seemed well on their way.
But those plans quickly fizzled when
Connors was scouted during a basketball game again. Only this time it was a
Hollywood director who thought Connors could make it on the big screen.
“He told me if I was interested in acting.... To me that was la-la land ... but I
told him, ‘Okay, call me when you have a
role,’” Connors recalled.
Two weeks later, he was asked to read
for Tarzan. He didn’t get that role, but
the casting director thought he was
tried to keep him aware of his Armenian
heritage. Because he lost his father at
such a young age, Connors said his Armenian roots became extremely important to him – he knew his dad would have
wanted it that way.
“I never forgot the stories my dad
would tell me about the atrocities he
witnessed in Armenia,” Connors said.
As the offers for film and television
roles (including his first TV appearance in 1960 in the show Tightrope)
kept rolling in, Connors never forgot
where he came from. When he got
the role of Joe Mannix, he pushed
to have the detective be of Armenian
descent.
“That was important to me,” Connors
said. “On the show I would even go visit
my father on a grape farm and we would
talk to each other in Armenian.”
Connors said playing Mannix, indisputably his most famous role, for eight
years was a lot of fun. Portraying the
Mannix: the Armenian
hard-hitting cop during the first year
was interesting. The show introduced a
detective
lot of its loyal watchers to computers
Connors’ formative years embodied the – back then the electronic devices were
all-American experience. But his father floor-to-ceiling behemoths – because
good enough to set up with an acting
coach.
One thing led to another and pretty
soon Connors was put on contract by
Sam Goldwyn at Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
Though the contract lasted only 90 days,
Connors said it was enough to “get him
in the door” and pretty soon the roles
were pouring in.
Connors admits his family at first
thought the acting thing was a joke. But
in 1952, when they saw his name on the
marquee of the Fresno Theater for his
starring role in his first film, Sudden
Fear, with Joan Crawford, they finally
believed that the little boy from Fresno
had a future in Hollywood.
“They saw that it was real,” Connors
said.
Unfortunately, Connors’ father didn’t
get a chance to see his son’s success – he
passed away when Mike was only 17
years old.
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008
the character used to work for a computerized detective agency.
By the second season, the renegade
detective had lost the computer, but
continued to solve mysteries and fight
crime. He did so for another seven seasons.
Connors said that despite being off
the air for four decades, Mannix recently
became the subject of controversy when
a Chicago newspaper ran a story as to
why the popular show had never been
released in a DVD collection.
Blogs dedicated to the show began to
agitate over the issue, and pretty soon a
DVD collection was in the works.
Connors was tapped to narrate the
collection and in the bonus features he
will discuss each episode individually.
The DVDs will be released in June.
Happiness and loss
During the decades that he worked as
an actor and entertainer, Connors was
compiled by Mary Dee Phillips
of www.jmannix.net
able to delve into several interests that
otherwise he never would have tried.
A stint as a nightclub entertainer, comedian, and trumpet player in Mexico
and Venezuela in 1962; an African safari
in 1965; and several speaking engagements at the White House are just a few
examples.
Still, Connors said, of all of his experiences, by far the best was his decision
to date and marry the love of his life,
Mary Lou, whom he met more than six
decades ago at UCLA.
“She was playing lacrosse and as
soon as I saw her I knew I had to go
after her,” he said. Connors and his
wife will celebrate 59 years of marriage this year. The secret to a happy
marriage? “Luck,” Connors said. “I
was lucky to meet a gal that I had a
lot in common with. She has a great
sense of humor, she is talented, and
could drink me under the table, but is
always a lady.”
TV guest appearances
About Faces - ABC (1960)
The Adventures of Jim Bowie
“Broomstick Wedding” (10/12/56) as
TV starring roles
Rafe Bradford
Tightrope! as Nick 1959-60
Alcoa Presents One Step Beyond “The
Mannix as Joe Mannix 1967-1975
Aerialist” (4/28/59)
Today’s F.B.I. (1981) as Ben Slater
Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Driving
Crimes of the Century (1989) host of
Under The Influence” (1989)
this series
Burke’s Law “Who Killed The
Anchorman?” (1994)
Film
Brenner “False Witness” (1964)
Gideon (aka Gideon’s Web) (1998) ....
Bronco “School For Cowards” (4/21/59)
Harland Greer
The Californians “The Bell Tolls”
James Dean: Race with Destiny (1997)
(5/19/59) as Charles Cora
...Jack Warner
Cheyenne “Dead To Rights”( 5/20/58)
Ciudad Baja (Downtown Heat) (1994)
as Roy Simmons
Armen and Bullik (1992) .... Joe “Uncle
Cimarron City “Hired Hand” (11/15/58)
Do Do” Armen
as Bill Vatcher
A puño limpio (1988)
Circus of the Stars (12/13/81)
Fist Fighter (1988) .... Billy Vance
Code 3 (1957)
Avalanche Express (1979) .... Haller
The Commish “Scali, P.I.” (1993)
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (1966) The Dean Martin Show
(USA) ... Kelly
Della (1970 talk/variety show)
Stagecoach (1966) .... Hatfield
Diagnosis:Murder “A Hard Boiled
Harlow (1965) .... Jack Harrison
Murder” (1997) as Joe Mannix
Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious
Dinah’s Place (Talk Show) - 1970
(1965) .... Sgt. Lucky Finder
The Earthlings (Pilot) (1984)
Where Love Has Gone (1964) .... Major
The Expendables (Pilot) (1962)
Luke Miller
The Fall Guy “Private Eyes” (10/24/84)
Good Neighbor Sam (1964) .... Howard
Felony Squad “An Arrangement With
Ebbets
Death” (1967)
Panic Button (1964)
Ford Theatre “Yours For A Dream”
The Dalton that Got Away (1960)
(4/8/54)
Live Fast, Die Young (1958) .... Rick
Frontier “Tomas and the Widow”
Suicide Battalion (1958)
(10/2/55)
Flesh and the Spur (1957) .... Stacy
Gunsmoke “The Mistake” (11/24/56) as
Tanner **(exec.producer)
Jim Bostick
Voodoo Woman (1957) .... Ted Bronson
Have Gun, Will Travel “The Bride”
The Twinkle In God’s Eye (1957) ....Lou
(10/19/57) as Johnny
Ten Commandments, The (1956) ....
Here’s Lucy Lucy and Mannix are Held
Herder
Hostage (10/4/71)
Day the World Ended, The (1956) ....
Hollywood Squares (Game Show) Tony
1967, 7/23/74, & 1975
Jaguar (1956).... Marty Lang
Jefferson Drum “Simon Pitt”
Oklahoma Woman, The (1956) .... Sheriff (12/11/58) as Simon Pitt
Tom Blake
The John Davidson Show (Talk Show)
Shake, Rattle and Rock (1956) .... Garry - 1981
Five Guns West (1955) ....Hale Clinton
The Jonathan Winters Show 10/2/68
Swamp Women (1955) .... Bob
Joys (3/5/76) TV Special
Matthews
Laugh In - (more than one appearance,
Twinkle in God’s Eye, The (1955) .... Lou
dates unknown)
Day of Triumph (1954) .... Andrew
The Lawman: “The Lady in Question”
Island in the Sky (1953) .... Gainer
(12/2/58) as Hal Daniels
Sky Commando (1953)
The Leslie Uggams Show (Fall 1969)
Veils of Bagdad (1953)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The 49th Man (1953)
“The Big Baby Contest” (11/22/55) as
Sudden Fear (1952) .... Junior Kearney
Pat Smith
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008 The Connors had two children – a boy
and a girl.
Overcome with emotion, Connors
said his son passed away unexpectedly
last year of heart failure. “It was a shock,”
he said. “I guess everyone has a cross
to bear, everyone has a tragedy in their
life… This was ours. We are just trying to
get on with our lives.”
A man of abiding values
Connors said apart from his work with
some of the Armenian Genocide documentaries produced by the Armenian
Film Foundation, he is pretty much in
retirement. His days now are spent reading not scripts, but books – fiction and
nonfiction.
Connors likes to keep himself in shape
by swimming and playing golf. And for
the last few months he has kept himself
engaged in the political debates of the
presidential primaries.
His favorite pastime, though, is spend-
The Loretta Young Show “And Now a
Brief Word” (1956)
The Love Boat (5/2/81)
The Love Boat “The Spoonmaker
Diamond “ (11/13/82)
Lux Video Theatre “The Latch Key”
(6/27/57)
M Squad “Peter Loves Mary” (1957)
Maverick “Point Blank” (9/29/57) as
Ralph Jordan
Maverick “The Naked Gallows”
(12/15/57) as Sheriff Fillmore
The Merv Griffin Show (Talk Show)
- 1970
The Mike Douglas Show (Talk Show)
- 1976
The Mike Douglas Show (Talk Show)
- (live from Las Vegas) (11/29/78)
The Millionaire “The Story of Victor
Volante” (2/22/56)
Mitzi Gaynor “The First Time” (1973)
The Movie Game - Syndicated game
show -1970
Murder She Wrote “Truck Stop” (1993)
Murder She Wrote “Flim Flam” (1995)
Murder She Wrote “Shooting In Rome”
(1995)
Oh, Susannah (aka The Gale Storm
Show ) “Mardi Gras” (12/7/57)
The People’s Choice “Sock and the Law”
(12/6/56)
Perry Mason “The Case of the Bullied
Bowler” (11/5/64)
Personal Report (Unaired Pilot) - 1957
Police Story “Stigma” (1977)
Police Story “Three Days To Thirty”
(11/9/77)
Public Enemy #2, An SCTV Special
aired on Showtime (1993)
The Red Skelton Hour (3/12/68)
Redigo “Shadow of the Cougar”
(11/26/63) as Jack Marston
Rescue 8 (5/2/60)
Roadblock (Unaired Pilot) “Getaway
Car” (1958)
Rough Riders “Wilderness Trace”
(1/29/59) as Randall Garrett
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars ‘The Last
Out” (9/30/55)
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars “No Trial By
Jury” (11/11/55)
Sheriff of Cochise “Husband and Wife”
Silent Service “The Ordeal of the S-38”
(7/12/57)
Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour episodes #10 & #20
State Trooper “Woman Who Cried
Wolf” (1957)
ing time with his 10-year-old granddaughter. Pictures of the golden-haired
little girl can be found all over the Connors’ house.
In this stage of his life, Connors
doesn’t miss his acting days much. He
notes that show business now is very
different anyway. “The paparazzi don’t
give anyone any privacy anymore,” he
said. “You do something in New York
and in five minutes the whole world
knows about it.”
Connors said another thing that bothers him is the lack of humility that many
young actors display today.
“You used to have to go from point A
to point B… work your way up,” he said.
“Now some of these kids get picked up
at a gas station, get put on TV, and then
they’re famous.”
Still, Connors gets a glimmer in his eye
when he reminisces about his career: “I
had a lot of laughs, I had fun, it’s been
f
good.” State Trooper “What Price Gloria”
(1957)
Studio 57 “Getaway Car” (1958)
Super Comedy Bowl, Second Annual
(1/12/72)
The Texan “Edge of the Cliff”
(10/27/58)
The Untouchables “The Eddie O’Gara
Story” (11/13/62)
Wagon Train “The Dora Gray Story”
(1958)
Walker, Texas Ranger (1998)
What’s It All About World? - 1969
The Walter Winchell File “The Steep
Hill” (12/25/57)
Whirlybirds “Rita Ames is Missing”
(1963)
Whirlybirds “Airborne Gold” (1963)
You Don’t Say (Game Show) (1968)
Made for TV Movies
Hart to Hart Returns (1993) as Bill
McDowell
War and Remembrance (1989 miniseries) as Col. Harrison “Hack” Peters
Too Scared to Scream (1985) as Lt.
Dinardo **(executive producer)
Glitter (pilot episode) (9/13/84)
The Bureau (1981)
Casino (8/1/80) as Nick
Nightkill (12/18/80) as Wendell Atwell
The Death of Ocean View Park (11/19/79)
High Midnight (11/27/79)
Long Journey Back (12/15/78)
Revenge for a Rape (11/19/76) as Travis
Green
The Killer Who Wouldn’t Die, aka
Ohanian (4/4/76) unsold pilot, as Kirk
Ohanian
Beg, Borrow, or Steal (3/20/73) (TV) as
Vic Cummings
Documentaries
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1996)
Ararat Beckons (1991)
Even The Heavens Weep
Forgotten Genocide
William Saroyan: The Man, The Writer
Supplement to The Forgotten Genocide
(1989)
Legacy ( 1988)
Let the Body Heal Itself (1978)
connect:
jmannix.net
C7
Sam Saga: artist, feminist, innovative thinker
by Adrineh
Gregorian
When you meet Samvel Saghatelian, aka
Sam Saga or just Sam to friends, you
can’t help being overcome with a sudden sense of calm. There is an inexplicable ease about him, manifesting in his
warm eyes, a subtle smile permanently
painted on his face, and his unpretentious eclectic style. There is no question
you are in the presence of someone extraordinary.
As calm as his exterior may seem, his
thoughts venture off to uncharted places and his ideas are nothing short of
revolutionary.
You get a taste of what goes on inside
the head of an artist by examining their
studio. Sam’s is lined with painted canvases, photos, sketches, and color palettes posted on the walls for inspiration.
Through this minor chaos creativity is
born.
From the chaos in his Atwater Village
studio to the chaos of Armenia’s “dark
ages,” turmoil has always fueled Sam’s
artwork.
Left: “Example for the Hero” 36x24, oil on canvas. Above: “Bushshit” 24x18
(61x45 cm), oil on canvas, 2006. Below left: Grand Opera, Oil on Canvas.
Below right: Cookie Fashion, Oil on Canvas.
Yerevan Hotel, which he transformed
into an art studio. For the next nine
years, his artistic endeavors had a new
home in which to flourish.
“Artists at this time were in survival
mode,” Sam says. “During crisis we
stuck together.” He’s able to laugh about
it now with his self-effacing chuckle.
At this very difficult time, artists
made a living by selling commissioned
artwork around the world.
“Artists were able to survive in that
period,” Sam says. “It’s unbelievable.
You can’t comprehend what’s going on
around you, yet at that time real art actualized itself.”
This transition period served artists
with the opportunity to make a paradigm shift from communism to capitalism. The abstract trend in the 1980s
gradually began to shift into more figurative styles.
The making of a true artist
Sam was born and raised in the heart
of Yerevan. His earliest memories are of
keen observations of his surroundings.
“I was really inspired by naked bodies,” remembers Sam. From the age of
5 his mother would take him to public
bath houses in Yerevan, where he admired women. “From a young age I’ve
had an obsession with the female form,”
he says.
Music lessons and art were outlets
for his curiosity and creativity. “Even
as a child, ever since I can remember,
I would paint the walls of our home,”
Sam recalls. “Most importantly, my
parents never held me back from
painting.”
When Sam was still young, his family
lived in the cosmopolitan district of Crivoy, Yerevan, for a few years. Neighbors
included a variety of people from different backgrounds, while waves of artists
and intellectuals would pass through his
home. This period left a strong impression on him and sparked his further interest in the arts.
Sam grew to become an architect.
Though architecture involved a lot of
art, he always sketched for himself. “I
was always trying to find a balance with
architecture while leaning towards my
artistic side,” Sam says.
Not unlike the curiosity he demonstrated as a young boy, architecture allowed him to observe the makings of a
society. Each building block he designed
incorporated social, political, personal,
and environmental considerations, reflecting the core factors that shape civilization.
“Even a person is like an architectural
structure, starting from our bones” Sam
explains.
C8 There are no accidents
The transition to fine art
Women in his life have always marked a
time of transition in his career. “Through
these women my attraction to art grew,”
Sam says.
In 1982, intense karate training inspired him to delve in Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism and Taoism.
At a time when religion was frowned
upon by the Soviet regime, Sam smuggled books and began studying Eastern
styles of painting, focusing on plants
and flowers and experimenting with the
object-subject relationships.
“The process of painting was meditative in itself,” Sam says. He sought to
discover himself first through Eastern
philosophy, then by painting more actively.
In 1988, as Armenia was enmeshed
in a transitional phase of its own, Sam
dove into his paintings. “It was an outlet for me because architecture during
the Soviet system was more limited,” he
says. “I was looking for avenues to express myself – to find myself.”
With the collapse of the Soviet Union,
everything in Sam’s life changed. Armenia’s borders opened and the ideas
flowed in. Outside interest in Armenian
artists grew, along with interest in artists from other former Soviet republics.
In 1991, his friend handed him the
keys to four rooms at the then-defunct
“Some accidents have played a really important role in my life and in my art,”
Sam says. In 1992, he was hit by a car and
broke his right hand and left leg. Instead
of taking a break from art, he picked up
a pencil and began drawing with his left
hand.
“It changed my direction,” he recalls. “I
had more freedom with my left hand. I
would express more, without thinking
too much about how. It wasn’t perfect,
but something opened inside me.”
Though Sam was now dedicated to
art full-time, he was still very connected to architecture. These two interests
manifested in his artwork through his
instillation pieces featured at Yerevan’s
Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA) in 1995.
The ACCEA serves as a space where a
new wave of Armenian avant-garde art-
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008
fore he was scheduled to leave. He
decided to stay indefinitely.
Becoming a force in Los
Angeles art
“Corporate Coffee, Separate Life”
Sketch made on coffee house napkins
“ Treasure of the East” 63x33(162x82.5 cm), oil on canvas, 2006.
rate practice. “I was macho,” he says. “I
passed that phase by studying and knew
what it was that we needed to free ourselves from.”
“My philosophy is to look at women as
a whole – from the feminine and maternal sides,” Sam adds.
“I wanted to show the mentality of
With Grotesque Reality, he promulsurvival through objects that represent gated his own anti-machismo campaign,
survival,” Sam says.
a process which has allowed him to find
The human condition has always been balance in life, he says. Much like the yin
a central theme of Sam’s art. His next and yang, Sam’s discovery of his femseries focused on gender politics and inine side has enabled him to experispecifically the oppression of women.
ence a fuller life. “I’ve tried to bridge my
Titled Grotesque Reality, the series feminine and masculine sides through
featured paintings depicting male-fe- art and find a harmonious marriage bemale relationships with hidden secrets tween the two,” he says.
looming at the underbelly of traditional
Following the Venice Biennale, in
family values – values which undermine 2002 Sam was awarded fellowships to
the role of women in society. “These work in Vermont and New York City.
problems in society are reflected in our He also exhibited his work in gallerfamily,” Sam says. “My family was filled ies from Iran to Belgium, with stops in
with contradictions.”
Latin America.
Sam saw this conflict between his own
Sam extended his stay in the Unitmother and father, who were both very ed States, with encouragement from
strong individuals. “I went through ev- friends and galleries. By 2003, he was
erything in my first marriage,” recalls working on commissioned pieces and
the artist, who was grappling with the came to Los Angeles to visit friends.
idea of machismo imposed upon him by On this trip he met his current wife,
cultural norms and reinforced by his ka- Zara Zeitountsian, just ten days beAbove and left: Two
sketches by Sam
Saghatelian.
ists can thrive. Artists were now being
influenced by pop art and instillations.
“We tried to use these meanings to express our identity through contemporary art,” Sam says. The ACCEA was a
springboard to expose this new pool of
talent to the international community.
The Venice Biennale, an international
art festival established in 1895, features innovative modern art by countries around the world, which exhibit
works in their respective pavilions. In
2001, Sam was the only artist chosen
to exhibit in the 49th Venice Biennale’s
Armenian Pavilion, themed “Plateau
of Humankind.” His video art installation piece, titled Blessed Land, featured objects tied to a big table, using
wheat and two video screens to show
how survival instincts penetrate Armenian society on many levels, beginning
from the family, the nation, and even
Christianity.
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008 Together, Sam and Zara opened Black
Maria Gallery in trendy Atwater Village. They subsequently opened a gallery store next door called Under the
Table, featuring novelty items and artwork made by Los Angeles based artists. As chief curator at Black Maria
Gallery, Sam is cultivating the recent
movement of pop-surrealist painters in
Los Angeles.
“Los Angeles culture is very interesting
to me,” Sam says, referring to the diverse cultures that supply endless inspiration. “Something interesting is happening here, especially in the art scene.
I can say it’s cute, dark, stretched, and
unpredictable.”
Last year, Sam began a new series of
paintings titled Architectural Monsters,
which is currently on exhibit at La Luz
de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, through
June 1.
The gallery calls Architectural Monsters “a study in the phantasmagoric
mutation of the human form into architectural monstrosities.” The series
combines humans, animals, and architecture to create monsters that transcend the human imagination. Only
a skilled architect can conceive these
hybrid structures; and only a talented
artist can maintain the immaculate
brush strokes necessary for the 9”x14”
paintings.
Like Sam’s past series, Architectural
Monsters is a reflection of his surroundings coupled with his philosophical observations of society.
On a recent trip back to Armenia, Sam
observed a shift in the social, political, and psychological dynamics of the
people, which is being reflected in its
current architecture. “That architecture
now has no ties to any system and only
to the personal,” Sam says, referring to
the architectural cacophony lining the
streets of Yerevan.
With its tongue-in-cheek paintings
and drawings of ostensibly functional
buildings, Architectural Monsters is a
critique of both hypercapitalist society and architecture, which has relinquished artistic integrity to construct
a sterile civilization of force-fed ideas,
Sam says.
“My understanding of life is in extreme
conditions,” Sam explains. And with
that he has produced extreme art that
has pushed the boundaries of cultural
norms and produced visually stunning
f
pieces. Architectural Monsters
Through June 1
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 666-7667
Gallery hours:
Mon-Wed: 11:00-7:00.
Thur-Sat: 11:00-9:00.
Sunday: 12:00-6:00.
connect:
samsaghatelian.com
laluzdejesus.com
blackmariagallery.com
underthetablestore.com
C9
Ani Boyajian, artist and scholar
by Garine Isassi
This past fall, Ani Boyajian enjoyed the
culmination of 11 years of work when
Yale University Press, in association with
the Yale University Art Gallery, published
­Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné, edited by Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski,
with essays by William C. Agee and Karen
Wilkin. Stuart Davis (1892–1964), considered one of the most significant American
artists of the 20th century, established
American modernism in the early- to
mid-1900s. His legacy – marked by a popculture style imbued with jazz and city
streetscapes – has finally been brought up
to the level it deserves, thanks in large
part to Ani’s dedication to the project.
The three volumes took years of research. Ani likens the experience to being an art-world detective – tracking
down hundreds of Stuart Davis works
from their creation to their transfer to
various owners and appearance in diverse exhibitions, to, ultimately, their
current homes.
Since she was a child, Ani immersed herself in the world of art and academics. After
receiving her master of fine arts degree in
painting and contemporary art criticism,
she worked as the curatorial coordinator at the Whitney Museum of American
Art, Equitable Center branch. There, she
worked with the director to curate almost
20 exhibitions, most of which they produced themselves from start to finish. The
shows included the works of such famous
American artists as Jackson Pollock, Andy
Warhol, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, and Stuart Davis. During this time, she developed
her understanding of American art history while simultaneously creating and
selling her own artwork.
Ani’s own artwork has been shown
and sold in a variety of outlets, including
the Joan Roebuck Gallery in San Francisco, the Gorky Gallery in New York,
and the Armenian Library and Museum
of America in Boston. Her paintings
and drawings have also been included
in many private showings, most notably
in Manhattan, Brooklyn, East Hampton, and Los Angeles. Currently she has
works hanging in homes and businesses
across the country.
Ani worked as an artist-in-residence
in Cortona, Italy, through the University of Georgia and in Houston, Texas,
at the Midtown Art Center. She has also
maintained a studio in Paris.
In the midst of creating her own artwork, Ani spent time curating shows of
emerging artists in the international Armenian community. She worked as part
of the Armenian Students Association’s
Annual New York Artists Ball exhibition committee from 1993 to 2000. She
chaired for several of those years, raising
scholarship funds for Armenian university students and providing a venue for Armenian artists. She curated and chaired
the 1997 Armenian Pavilion at the Venice
Biennale. It was only the second time the
fledgling Republic of Armenia was participating in the prestigious international
event. The Armenian Pavilion presented
diverse works by five artists, including
an avant-garde installation piece by re-
C10 Left: Ani Boyajian.
Right: Work on paper
by Ani Boyajian.
nowned filmmaker Atom Egoyan.
When Ani met Earl Davis, the son of
Stuart Davis, he was impressed by her
academic background, intelligence, and
vision, along with her experience in making and presenting art. He had been trying to produce his father’s catalogue for
years. It was his hope that she, with Mark
Rutkoski, would take on the monumental task of constructing and authoring his
father’s catalogue raisonné. In 1996, Ani
readily agreed to join the project, knowing
that Stuart Davis was a great American
artist whose achievements needed to be
recognized in a significant publication.
A catalogue raisonné, often initiated by
the estate of an artist, encompasses his
or her entire oeuvre. Libraries, museums,
galleries, and collectors use these catalogues to research works by the particular artist. Although catalogues raisonnés
vary in quality, a good one will generally
be considered the foremost authority
on the legacy of an artist, containing every detail of every work created. These
details can be as simple as the size of a
painting or as complicated as the names
and circumstances of each exhibition in
which the work has appeared.
As there is no stock procedure for
creating an artist’s catalogue raisonné,
Ani and Mark had to design a unique
methodology to research Stuart Davis’
artwork. They were fortunate to have
the estate open to them, which included
access to personal papers, detailed date
books, and even the artist’s collection of
jazz albums. With use of archives at the
Whitney Museum of American Art, the
Downtown Gallery (which represented
Davis during his lifetime), and a variety
of other resources, they documented
hundreds of paintings, drawings, and
additional artworks.
Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné has
raised the bar for catalogue raisonné
publications. The reviews of the book
thus far have been stellar. Library Journal says, “In this veritable museum-in-abox set, the artist’s 1,749 known works
are fully cataloged and described in
an impeccably scholarly manner…. In
terms of its definitiveness, this volume
cannot be surpassed. As art historical
erudition, it is a triumph well worth its
price.” Bookforum calls it “a sweeping
document that brings to new light oftenoverlooked aspects of [Davis’] work.”
In addition, the book has been awarded the Honorable Mention Award of Excellence in Art and Art History from the
Association of American Publishers.
With the publication of Stuart Davis:
A Catalogue Raisonné, Ani Boyajian has
achieved an excellent reputation as an
art-world scholar. She hopes to consult
on other book and exhibition projects in
the future as she pursues her career as a
f
painter. . connect:
yalebooks.com
Gil Rose conducting
BMOP. Photo: Liz
Linder
Alan Hovhannes tribute concert to be held in Boston
On May 23, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) will present a concert
at Jordan Hall, in tribute to the influential yet largely unknown music of Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhannes (1911–2000).
While showcasing Hovhaness’ Exile
Symphony along with his Three Armenian Rhapsodies, the program will
premiere two BMOP-commissioned
works by Armenian composers: Vache
Sharafyan’s Sinfonia No. 2 Un Poco
Concertante; and Tigran Mansuri-
an’s Three Arias: Sung Out the Window Facing Mount Ararat, featuring Grammy-nominated violist Kim
Kashkashian.
According to BMOP, the nation’s leading orchestra dedicated to performing,
commissioning, and recording new music, the concert is dedicated to reviving
and preserving American orchestral
music. “BMOP looks to publicly recognize Alan Hovhaness and encourage
his increased presence in the collective
memory as a serious and important 20th-
century composer,” said Gil Rose, artistic
director and conductor of BMOP. With
the support of an American Express Cultural Heritage grant, the concert marks
the first event of a multi-year project in
preparation for the centennial celebraf
tion of Hovhaness’ birth in 2011. Free preconcert talk at 7:00 p.m.
For tickets call BMOP at (617) 363-0396 or visit
bmop.org.
Jordan Hall is located at 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, Mass. 02115.
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008
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Gor Mkhitarian wows audience in New York
by Antranig Dereyan
NEW YORK - Gor Mkhitarian is
considered a part of the underground music scene, but his recent
concert in New York City confirmed
his growing popularity as a mainstream artist.
The unplugged event, held at
the rock club Bitter End, featured
Mkhitarian performing solo with
his acoustic guitar, in a program
that culled songs from all six of his
albums.
“I’ve been listening to music since
I was very young and it has been
my life,” Mkhitarian said. “I didn’t
decide to be a musician, it just
came and happened. I wanted to
live by playing and writing music.”
Mkhitarian started the show
with an upbeat song titled 90 minutes, which got the crowd going,
but kept his set well balanced with
slow and fast tracks throughout
the set.
“I first saw him in Boston, at his
first show in the U.S., about six or
Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008 sad that he didn’t play my other
two favorite songs,” Dr. Goshgarian said.
Elizabeth Akian, who was among
the mostly young audience, said, “I
was one of the people who put together his debut concert in New
York several years ago at the Knitting Factory.” Akian, a former advisor of the Armenian Network’s
Greater New York Region, continued, “For a weeknight, this event
was well-attended. He has a strong
following in California and New
York, but it is much bigger in L.A.
Gor performing in NYC. Photo: Raffi Asatoorian.
because of the bigger population.
[Still], his following is getting
seven years ago,” said Dr. Rachel interaction between the artist and stronger in New York also.”
Goshgarian. “I really liked him the audience.
As Mkhitarian’s one-hour set
and so I brought him to Harvard,
The crowd filled in the small West drew to a close, expressions of sadwhere I was finishing up my Ph.D. Village venue and sang along to ness emanated from the audience.
I have all of his albums – even almost every one of Mkhitarian’s
“I like the interaction with the
his one and only English album songs, including the lone English- crowd because they can give me in– and I really feel he is a poet. I language track he had included in stant feedback,” the artist said. “I
really enjoy his music because it the set. Once “Grandfather Tom” also enjoy playing acoustic because
f
is a different type of Armenian came on, the crowd roared, ap- it is more intimate.” music.”
plauded, and sang along.
One thing that stood out dur- “‘Grandfather Tom’ is my favor- connect:
ing the New York concert was the ite song he played, though I was gormusic.com
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C12 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture May 17, 2008