BOSTON—The Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) will host Sibil Pektorosoğlu, the internationally acclaimed Armenian singer from Istanbul, in her first New England appearance, on Sept. 30, at 7 p.m., at the Ellsworth Theatre in Pine Manor College, Newton, Mass.
“We are thrilled that Sibil could come to help support AIWA and our mission of empowering women,” said AIWA vice president and chair of the planning committee. “She is a call to the past and the future for strong, talented and determined Armenian women. We know that both Armenians and non-Armenians will be moved by her performance and the special guests she has invited for the evening.”
Tickets for “An Evening with Sibil” are $100, $75, and $50 (with discounts for AIWA members), and are available at www.aiwainternational.org/sibil or by calling 617-926-0171. Music lovers are urged to reserve tickets soon, as a sold-out audience is expected. Seats are grouped on a first-come, first-served basis.
“An Evening with Sibil” provides a unique opportunity for the community to become acquainted with the Istanbul singer’s lovely renditions of traditional Armenian and other Middle Eastern melodies, along with her striking presentation of new music. Sibil’s appearances have inspired Armenian and non-Armenian audiences alike throughout the Middle East as well as in Europe and America. The winner of several international awards, she has twice performed at the opening ceremonies of the Pan-Armenian Games, where Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian awarded her the “Medal of Gratitude” for her contribution to the games.
Sibil’s first album released in 2011 quickly became a popular hit, with songs such as “Namag” (“Letter,” with lyrics by the Armenian poet Hovanes Sevag), “Giligya” (“Cilicia”), and “Oror” (“Lullaby”). It was followed shortly thereafter by her second album “Ser” (“Love”), which was widely applauded. Her music videos have been widely played in Turkey, and they include the first Armenian-language songs to be aired on Turkish state and leading television channels there.
A native of Istanbul, Sibil was named after the well-known Armenian writer Zabel Assadur, whose pen name was Sibil. Her father, Garbis, was born in Istanbul, and her mother, Mari, comes from a Sebastia/Tokat family that fled from home during the Armenian Genocide.
Her interest in music began at an early age when her father took her regularly to the local Armenian Church. There she became immersed in the traditional Armenian hymns (sharagans), and she later joined and became a soloist in the choir of the Sts. Vartanants Armenian Church. She attended Mekhitaryan Elementary School in Istanbul.
In 2010 Sibil began appearing in Istanbul in such venues as Guitar Café, and she appeared on the stage in a production of Dikran Chukhajian’s musical comedy “Leblebiji,” attracting the attention of leading Armenian, Greek, and Turkish artists. Working with them, Sibil quickly became known for her sensitive interpretations of Armenian and other songs.
As her fame spread and her repertoire expanded, Sibil was invited to perform in other countries. She was the recipient of an award in the category of “Magical Voice” at the “Armenia Music Awards” in Moscow in 2012. In Armenia, in addition to her appearances at the Pan-Armenian Games, she received “The Armenian Music Ambassador” award at the Tsitsernak National Music Award Ceremony for her efforts in spreading and preserving Armenian song and music in the Diaspora.
In 2014, Sibil’s album “Love” was presented at Moscow Cinema in Yerevan, and all the proceeds were donated to one of Armenia’s kindergartens. During the presentation, Sibil received the Komitas Medal from the Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan as well as the Gold Medal from Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan for her contributions to the dissemination of Armenian music and for her charities in Armenia.
Among her appearance in America, Sibil performed in Los Angeles at a special event sponsored by the Organization of Istanbul Armenians in 2012 and also that year in Bergen County, New Jersey, and Montreal, Canada. In 2014 she was among the celebrities who appeared at the World Armenian Entertainment Awards in Palm Springs, California, where she received a “Best Singer in the Diaspora” award.
In 2016, Sibil appeared in solo concerts in Tehran and Isfahan, Iran, and in Beirut. The year was also distinguished for the concert with an Armenian rock band The Beautified Project in Holland. She has continued her popular concert also released a music video with the song “To Lake Van.”
For her Sept. 30 appearance, Sibil will be joined on stage by the Zangakner Performing Arts Ensemble as well as other local artists.
AIWA, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, is a global network dedicated to empowering Armenian women everywhere. AIWA’s mission is to promote and enrich the social, economic, and personal advancement of Armenian women worldwide through education and other community activities that unite Armenian women, promote gender equality, and emphasize our Armenian cultural heritage.
For more information about Sibil, visit the AIWA website or www.sibilimusic.com.