August 20, 2012 - 17:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Conductor-pianist Constantine Orbelian was awarded Russian Order of Friendship by the government of the Russian Federation on July 27 at the residence of Russian Consul General Vladimir Vinokurov in San Francisco, delosmusic.com reports.
The Russian Order of Friendship medal is the highest honor Russia can bestow upon foreign nationals who have shown goodwill towards Russian arts and culture, have recognized and imparted its importance, and have brought it to the peoples of the world.
In addition to the Consul General, his Excellency Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. as well as Ambassador Mikhail Shvedkoi, former Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, and currently Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation were among the many distinguished guests at award ceremony.
Vera Orbelian, the honoree’s mother, was also present – along with other members of the Orbelian family and close friends.
When presenting the Russian Order of Friendship medal, Ambassador Shvedkoi reminded those present that in 2004, Constantine was the first non-Russian to be designated a Merited Artist of the Russian Federation. He further recalled that back in 1812, the Russians had established their southernmost foothold in the U.S. at a place called Fort Ross, which is just north of San Francisco, and that Fort Ross is now celebrating its 200th anniversary.