Thoroughly Good at the Aram Khactaturian Cello Competition in Armenia

For the next ten days I’m in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city – 1200 miles east of Turkey – to watch and report on the Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition.

It’s a great opportunity to hear 16 cellists tackle works by Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and, of course, homegrown composing talent Aram Khachaturian – yes, him of the Onedin Line signature tune fame.

I like to travel. I’m at my best when I travel. Invitations to venture to a place you haven’t visited before and experience classical music on someone else’s home turf are a lovely treat – a gentle pat on the back that stirs curiosity and fuels discovery.

Quite apart from the opportunity to write about something I love, or to exercise one’s listening faculties, there’s also the joy of being able to delve deep into the world of a national composer in a way that brings the subject alive more than staring at the pages of the Grove Dictionary of Music.

Competition Schedule

The competition begins on Thursday 7 June with a first round consisting Bach suites, a choice of Tchaikovsky, Popper, Rostropovich, plus the obligatory Schubert ‘Arpeggione’.

The second round starts on Saturday 9 June during which we’ll hear the Khachaturian Sonata-Fantasy, and a choice of either Beethoven’s second, third, or fifth cello sonatas.

The four finalists will compete for the $15,000 and concert engagement prize on on 12th playing either Khachaturian Cello Concerto in E minor, or his Rhapsody-Concerto in D minor. The award ceremony is Thursday 14th June.


Fedor Amosov – Russian Federation
Varduhi Mirzoyan – Armenia
Mikayel Petrosyan – Armenia
Zhanna Miniotas – Russian Federation
Anna Koshkina- Russian Federation
Chae-Won Hong-Republic of Korea
Rustem Khamidullin – Russian Federation
Jonathan Swensen -Denmark
Kenta Uno- Japan
Sevak Avanesyan -Armenia / Belgium
Sergey Bulgadaryan – Russian Federation
Kyung Jun Lee –Republic of Korea
Sandra Lied Haga – Norway
Mon-Puo Lee- Spain / Taiwan
Hyejin Kim -Republic of Korea
Vasily Stepanov- Russian Federation

Where to follow

I’m hoping there’ll be time to shoot some video of the sights and sounds of Yerevan – you’ll be able to find them on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

There’ll be pictures too on Instagram, and regular updates on the blog.

Find out more about the event on the Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition websiteFollow the competition on Twitter and Facebook.

The Thoroughly Good Blog is an independent blog celebrating classical music and the arts. Please consider supporting its development in 2018 by giving a donation using this PayPal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.