SOFYA MELIKYAN, A PIANIST IN PROGRESS Armenian News Network / Groong October 16, 2006 Entertainment Wire by Sahan Arzruni NEW YORK, NEW YORK Sofya Melikyan, a talented and skillful pianist, performed on Sunday, October 15, at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. A native of Yerevan, Melikyan moved to Spain as a teenager, studying initially in Madrid and later in Paris. She is currently getting her Master's Degree at the Manhattan School of Music, working with the veteran piano teacher Solomon Mikowsky. Her performance on Sunday was her official New York debut. Sofya Melikyan presented a succinct yet varied program, performing Haydn and Schumann in the first half; Granados, Dutilleux, Babadjanian and Rachmaninoff in the second half - all by way of paying tribute to her various backgrounds. Melikyan projects a clear and focused tone and displays an unobrusive technique. She is at her best when velocity is called for, an aspect of performance she carries off with ease and grace. Her playing also displays a certain finesse and clarity, as well as a pleasingly sensitive articulation. Among the most successful performances of Melikyan's concert were Schumann's Abegg Variations and Dutilleux's Choral with Variations. Her reading of Schumann's Abegg showed fluidity and elegance, even if it lacked a certain tension. The G minor Sonata, however, needed a feeling of urgency and formal coherence to convey the dual, mutually opposed elements -- a characteristic in vintage Schumann. Granados' `Amor y la muerte' would have been more engaging, had there been greater differentiation in timbral qualities. Babadjanian's `Capriccio' lacked elasticity; perhaps, it should have been performed at a slower tempo to allow for greater playfulness. Rachmaninoff's `Moments musiceaux' are drenched in Russian languor; the B minor is one of the composer's most soulful utterances. Ms. Melikyan's approach did not allow for such expressivity, yet she conquered the high-wire virtuosity of the E minor Moment musical with deftness. Sofya Melikyan began her recital with Haydn's masterful Variations in F minor. As an encore, she played Khachaturian's `Sabre Dance,' in transcription. A highly promising pianist who has already attained a respectable level of accomplishment, Ms. Melikyan needs performing experience, as well as life experience, to allow her to project her emotions freely and fully. -- Master pianist Sahan Arzruni enjoys an international carreer, known also as a composer, ethnomusicologist, producer, teacher, lecturer, writer, recording artist and broadcasting personality
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