10 August 2004

Isabel Bayrakdarian Married in Armenia

AZAD-HYE: Siroun Kojakian is a known name in the Abu Dhabi Armenian Community. She had been the Head of the Church Choir for many years and Church goers are familiar with her rich and vibrant voice. But if Srioun is known locally, her younger sister Isabel Bayrakdarian has achieved worldwide recognition, in the last few years, as a talented soprano.

Her first recording (titled “Joyous Light”) was released in March 2002 and it went straight to No. 1 in the classical charts across Canada. Soon afterwards her songs were featured in works of Atom Egoyan’s (“Ararat”) and in the movie “Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers”.

Her second CD titled “Azulao” (Bluebird) has won the prize of the “Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance” at the JUNO Awards (Canada’s most prestigious Music Award), which took place this year in Edmonton, Canada (3rd April 2004).

On 5th April 2004, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, honored Isabel Bayrakdarian with the “St. Mesrob Mashdots” decoration. Soon afterwards she visited Armenia for the first time. She performed one concert in Yerevan. On 19th April 2004, President Robert Kocharian welcomed her during a special reception. Isabel Bayrakdarian shared her impressions with the President, saying that she was delighted and promising to come again and again. She said she was enchanted with the rich cultural life of Armenia.

On the same day His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, received Isabel Bayrakdarian in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and gave his Pontifical blessing. His Holiness expressed his appreciation to her for beautifully and expertly introducing Armenian Church hymns and melodies to an entirely new audience in many countries throughout the world. Miss Bayrakdarian stated that the Armenian spiritual music is the nourishment of her soul. During her visit to Armenia Isabel Bayrakdarian was accompanied by her mother, Lalique Bayrakdarian, pianist Serouj Kradjian and a film crew of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which accompanied her for the preparation of a film.

It seems that the very first visit of Isabel Bayrakdarian to Armenia was so important landmark in her personal life, that she chose Armenia (more specifically the old monastery of Keghart, outside Yerevan) to held her wedding to pianist Serouj Kradjian there, on 18th July 2004, in the presence of a local priest and the Bishops of Montreal, Artsakh and Lebanon. Bishop Kegham Khacherian (Lebanon) delivered HH Aram’s I blessings to the newly wed at the end of the ceremony.

On the same day and after the religious ceremony, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians received in Etchmiadzin the newly wed and their relatives (see photo in www.Azad-Hye.com) and gave his blessing and a token gift to the lucky couple.

We wish the couple happy marriage and expect one day to see Isabel Bayrakdarian as a guest in the “Cultural Foundation” of Abu Dhabi (combining professional appearance in the UAE and reunion with her sister Siroun Kojakian).

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