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.


Noubar Afeyan has dedicated his career to improving the human condition by systematically creating science-based innovations that serve as the foundation for startup companies. At Flagship Pioneering, which he founded in 1999, Noubar has created an enterprise where entrepreneurially minded scientists invent seemingly unreasonable solutions to challenges facing human health and sustainability. Flagship has fostered the development of more than 100 scientific ventures. During his career as inventor, entrepreneur, and CEO, Noubar has cofounded and helped build over 40 life science and technology startups. He is a lecturer at Harvard Business School and from 2000 to 2016 was a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Noubar’s commitment to improving the human condition through science and business goes hand in hand with social investments and a global humanitarian initiative. Together with his partners, he has launched philanthropic projects including the IDeA Foundation, UWC Dilijan School, 100 LIVES, and the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity to raise awareness of the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems. Noubar is a member of the Corporation of MIT, and a member of the board of trustees of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Noubar was born in Beirut, did his undergraduate work at McGill University in Montreal, and completed his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering at MIT in 1987. A passionate advocate of the contributions of immigrants to economic and scientific progress, Noubar received the Golden Door Award in 2017 from the International Institute of New England, in honor of his outstanding contributions to American society as a U.S citizen of foreign birth. He was also awarded a Great Immigrant honor from the Carnegie Corporation in 2016, received a Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum in 2012, and was presented with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008.



Arman Padaryan

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

Anna Afeyan - Co-chair
Nina Festekjian - Co-chair
Nicole Babikian Hajjar - Fundraising, Chair 2005 - 2018
Vahé Ghahraman - Treasurer
Roberta Hagopian Kennedy - Fundraising, BSO
Sargis Karapetyan - Program & Artistic Advisor, Violin & Viola
Seza Seraderian - Marketing
Arlette Yegumians - Marketing
Sylvie Zakarian - Program & Artistic Advisor, Classical Percussion


Advisory Board - Armenia

Tigran Hekekyan - Director, Sayat Nova Music College
Martun Kostandyan - Director, Tchaikovsky Music College
Juan Pardo Gil - Trombone
Paolo Rizzuto - French Horn
Araik Rubinyan - Tuba

Kirill Soldatov - Trumpet
Eduard Topchjian - Principal Conductor & Artistic Director, Armenian National 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.