Literary Magazine "Russian Globe" №2'02



                   Sofya Melikyan - American Debut     

                     Surpasses Expectations


                                                    By Gennady Mesh

    June 12, 2001      

  Everyone in attendance last Sunday at Music in the Loft in DownTown Chicago was treated to a stellar performance by the gifted young Armenian pianist, Sofya Melikyan. Sofya's name may be new and unfamiliar to Americans, but she is a well-known among classical music lovers in Europe. In Spain, the twenty-three-year old pianist won the first prize at the Marisa Montiel Sixteenth Piano Competition and the special prize for "Music Gift" in 1997 in Linares, the first prize at the 13th International Piano Competition in Ibizan in 1999. At the Armenian Festival "New Names" and the International Festival BEMUS in Belgrade, Yugoslavia among others, Melikyan's performances were hailed as brilliant.
  Last Sunday she began her recital at the Music in the Loft with R.Schumann's the "Abegg" Variations (Op.1) and Fantasiestucke (Op.12). These picturesque pieces depend upon performer's interpretation in order to manifest themselves clearly. Listening to Melikyan, we in the audience became observers: the beautiful landscapes with the light of spring and fragrant blossoms. Then the images changed to frightful dreams, dramatically alive. Her masterful performance revealed the full nature of Schumann's music with its contrasting emotional states. "I like R.Schumann very much for his poetic nature. He is close to me, and I will perform him a lot", she said later after the concert.
  In vivid and expressive Chopin mazurkas, she created an atmosphere that was playful, light, and touching. This she followed by Chopin Sonata No.2 in B-Flat Minor, well known for its Funeral March, and, as a finale she played the sharp, bright, full of life Rachmaninov "Musical Moment".
  Sofya Melikyan has given her recitals in many prestigious halls in Moscow, Armenia, Spain, Portugal and Germany. Currently residing in Spain, her playing has been broadcast to other European countries. During an interview last Thursday on Chicago Fine Art radio station WFMT '98.7' Sofya not only discussed her life and recitals but also gave an impromptu performance. In the studio, she played Rachmaninov and Chopin with great artistry. 
  Mrs.Fredda Hyman, the founder and Artistic Director of Music in the Loft said of Melikyan, "She is a very talented pianist and has a good chance to improve herself in America."
  Her next recital will consist of the music of Bach, R.Schumann, Chopin, Khachaturian, Babadjanian. It will take place in Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church, 1701 N.Greenwood Rd. in Glenview, June 30 at 8 p.m.