What We Do
YerazArt is a Boston-based non-profit organization, with a mission to nurture, support, and promote young, talented musicians from Armenia, helping them reach their full artistic potential by providing assistance with professional development, instrument donations, scholarships and concert performance opportunities. YerazArt was founded in 2005 to address the challenges facing young musicians in Armenia. Over the years, the scarcity and poor quality of instruments available in musical institutions, and the lack of professional development resources necessary to prepare talented students for the world stage, have led to a decline in the number of students pursuing musical disciplines in Armenia.
Who We Are
Mr. Raffi Festekjian is Chief Executive Officer of the Finance Risk and Compliance Division of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.
Mr. Festekjian is responsible for the strategic direction of numerous business lines across the globe. He is committed to harmonizing organizations’ finance, risk and compliance assets, as this effort is vital in helping financial organizations grow soundly and responsibly through genuine insight into their regulatory obligation and risk landscape. He joined Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in 2004 when the organization acquired PCi. Under Mr. Festekjian’s leadership, PCi became one of the largest providers of compliance solutions to the financial services industry. Prior to founding PCi, Mr. Festekjian was a consultant and investment banker at Kellett Management, Inc. He also worked in product management at Proctor & Gamble, and as a civil engineer in the construction industry. Mr. Festekjian has served as the chair of the Armenia Fund, and most recently is a board member of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia (NCFA). Mr. Festekjian received his M.B.A., with distinction, from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his B.S. in Engineering from American University of Beirut.
Dr. Noubar Afeyan is Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures, a firm he founded in 2000. He is also a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he has taught courses on technology entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership since 2000. Dr. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987. A technologist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Dr. Afeyan has co-founded and helped build over 26 successful life science and technology startups during the past two decades. Currently Dr. Afeyan serves on a number of public and private company boards including the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also chairs the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies. In 2008 he received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award granted to outstanding Americans who have distinguished themselves as U.S. citizens and who have enabled their ancestry groups to maintain their identities while becoming an integral part of American life. He serves as a board member for the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia (NCFA) as well as for the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
YerazArt Armenia Country Director
Mr. Padaryan was an internee at Dublin Institute of Technologies in 1996 and in 1999, through the Visiting Arts Program he worked at Jazz Services, and London International Festival of Theater, in the UK. His prolific body of work at the Cadence Music Centre from 1997 to 2001 resulted in subsequent invitations to work with the Komitas State Quartet in 2002, Armenian String Virtuosi in 2003, and Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia in 2004 as General Manager. Since 2005 Mr. Padaryan has organized various events and tours for Armenian artists in Europe, collaborated with Kultur Aktiv e.V., a German NGO. His work there has resulted in the implementation of several non-profit youth and culture exchange programs. In 2006 Mr. Padaryan was appointed Country Director for YerazArt Foundation, Armenia - a key role for organizing international programs, concerts, and festivals, as well as managing artists. In 2009, Mr. Padaryan was appointed as the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra’s Marketing and PR Manager, and since 2011 he serves as the General Producer of the organization.
Executive Board - USA
Nicole Babikian Hajjar – Chair
Anna Afeyan - Fundraising
Nina Festekjian - Fundraising
Vahe Ghahraman - Treasurer
Sargis Karapetyan – Violin and Viola
Seza Seraderian - Marketing
Arlette Yegumians – Marketing
Sylvie Zakarian - Classical Percussion
Advisory Board – Armenia
Alexander Chaushian - Cello, Royal Academy of Music
Gevorg Dabaghyan - Duduk
Ara Gevorgyan - Composer, World
Pyotr Haykazyan - Violin
Tigran Hekekyan - Director, Sayat Nova Music College
Martun Kostandyan - Director, Tchaikovsky Music College
Anahit Nersisyan - Piano Shahen Shahinyan - Rector, Yerevan State Conservatory
Eduard Topchjian - Principal Conductor and Artistic Director, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra
Marina Vardanyan – Director, Spendiaryan Music College
About Our Name
YerazArt was established in 2005 out of a philanthropic desire to address the challenges facing young, talented musicians in Armenia, in an effort to help them reach for their dreams through their art. Hence our name – YerazArt - from the Armenian word “Yeraz” - dream.