Founder, Director, HAYA Festival
Co-Founder, Director, Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival
Sona Hovhannisyan is an internationally recognized arts manager specializing in the planning, organization, and management of large-scale international music festivals and special events worldwide. She has organized the concerts of some of the most celebrated orchestras and musicians of our time. The list boasts Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berlin Staatskapelle, Israel Philharmonic, La Scala Milan, Royal Philharmonic London, conductors Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, soloists Evgeny Kissin, Pinchas Zukerman, Maxim Vengerov, Joshua Bell, Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Renée Fleming among others. Co-founded by Ms. Hovhannisyan, Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival in Armenia has become the greatest arts and culture event in the region, as well as one of the most awaited Festivals in Europe. Among jazz and pop celebrities, she has featured in the framework of the festival a plethora of world-famous musicians such as Charles Aznavour, All Jarreau, George Benson, Joe Cocker, Lara Fabian, Patricia Kass, and many others. She has supervised the organization of stellar concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York; Cadogan Hall, London; Bozar, Brussels; the Jerusalem Opera; Santa Cecilia, Rome; as well as the Musikverein in Vienna. These phenomenal events featuring astounding performances by internationally renowned musicians received wide critical acclaim, earning the praise of the New York Times, The Independent, La Repubblica, and the Jerusalem Post.
Ms. Hovhannisyan is a highly awaited speaker at the General Assemblies of the European Festivals Association, the European Commission, ITB Berlin, and other forums dedicated to cultural tourism, youth issues, economic development, foreign policy, and education. Sona Hovhannisyan has been awarded the “Medal of Gratitude”; of the Republic of Armenia in 2014. Ms. Hovhannisyan has also received the Leadership Award at Dubai Leadership Conference. She is a graduate of Yerevan State Conservatory majoring in the instrumental performance of the piano. Her subsequent education in arts management was received in London, Edinburgh, and Tallinn.
Currently, Ms. Hovhannisyan is studying MBA at the University of York, as well as taking a year-long course in Leadership Studies at Business Graduate School at Stanford University.
Ms. Hovhannisyan’s pioneering art-managerial activities were featured in hundreds of appearances on TV, press conferences, and in the media, making her one of the most prominent symbols of cultural diplomacy and creative excellence locally and internationally. In the fall of 2019, Ms. Hovhannisyan founded Sonati LLC, an enterprise intensively growing into a group of companies specializing in business and arts. Excellence in negotiations and outstanding leadership skills allowed Sona “Hovhannisyan to bring to life a new large-scale Festival called “HAYA” starting from; June 2022. The festival will host over a hundred thousand people every season, there by opening a new page in the history of cultural tourism and creative industries of Armenia. Throughout the region, the HAYA Festival is a meeting hub for the top artists of the world performing in various musical genres.