year old Lilit Babayan of Yerevan has won second
place in the Eighth International Piano Contest
earlier this month in Greece.
More than 50 musicians of various ages from 15
countries, including Russia, Bulgaria, Romania,
Georgia, Ukraine and Slovakia participated in
"When we went to that competition we couldn't
even imagine what kind of masterful people we
could have met there," says Lilit's teacher
Hasmik Hakobyan. "Anyway we concentrated
on our abilities and thought only of how to return
home with honor. In this case we returned with
victory, which is extremely pleasant as we were
Hakobyan says that thanks to the talented young
piano player all those at the competition got
an opportunity to be introduced to the level of
Armenian piano school and technique.
"By the first performances Lilit attracted
specialists' attention," says Hakobyan. "Many
representatives of the jury, (consisting of 10
members of different nationalities), underlined
that performances of the Armenian piano player
Lilit is a student in the fifth form at the Spendiaryan
Music School in Yerevan and has been practicing
at least two hours a day in preparation for the
"That contest was the first in my life and
I'm happy that I had a success," she says.
"In the beginning when the names of the winners
were announced and my name was also announced
my mother started to cry and it seemed to me that
I did something wrong and she is dissatisfied
with me. Then I realized that they were tears
of happiness. I didn't know what to do because
of my success."
recent weeks, the teacher and pupil have fought
the late-autumn cold in their practice room, preparing
compositions of Mendelssohn, Bach and others.
Hakobyan says she wasn't sure how they would
get to Greece, as all invited participants must
pay their own expenses. But Lilit's relatives
living in Moscow provided the traveling money.
The teacher says that Lilit is an example of
talent surviving unfavorable conditions for nurturing
it. The music school's classrooms are not heated
and each teacher makes only 1200 drams (about
$2) a month for each student.
"If there was a bit more attention we would
reach numerous successes," says Hakobyan,
"There are many talented children who have
no opportunity for participating in the international
competitions, however, I am sure that they could
be back with great achievements. However, it seems
that everything is subjected to indifference."
Whatever indifference Lilit might have felt was
lessened though by the reception she received
upon her return to classes with her certificate
and special medal.
"I was received very well in my schools.
In musical school everybody warmly congratulated
me and in comprehensive school they organized
a celebration," she says.
The school was decorated with balloons and a
banner of congratulations. The director of the
school presented the young pianist with a certificate
of appreciation. And two Armenian women from the
US sent greeting cards and gifts of $10 and $20.