Konstantin Eduardovich Ishkhanov is a businessman and philanthropist, as well as being the Founder and President of the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC).
Early Years and Career
Konstantin Ishkhanov is a businessman and philanthropist, Founder and President of the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC) and of the Modern Composers International Music Festival. He was born in Baku, USSR, on January 23rd 1970, from Armenian parents who have always been involved in the world of arts and culture. His mother, in fact, would often perform classical music.
In the late 1980s, Ishkhanov entered the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University when, shortly after his enrolment, he was enlisted into the Soviet military.
Consequently, the eventual dissolution of the USSR and the intensifying anti-Armenian sentiment in Baku forced Ishkhanov to permanently move to Moscow where he studied at the National University of Oil and Gas “Gubkin University”, graduating in 1993.
Therefore, after focusing on research related to low-waste and resource-saving oil production, he became Deputy General Director of the Russian-American oil and gas company RANKO and founded, in 2005, the Industrial Technologies of Electrical Engineering group.
Moreover, he decided to concentrate on cultural projects, currently residing in Malta, and dedicating himself to the strengthening of international cultural relations and education’s development. Mr Ishkhanov supports talented local and European musicians and works to strengthen ties between Armenia and Malta. He is also committed to developing the cultural landscape of Armenia and popularising its culture.
European Foundation for Support of Culture
In 2015, he founded the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EUFSC) — a non-commercial organisation which he currently leads as its president. The Foundation aims to develop and implement cultural and educational projects in Europe, Asia, and America, including festivals of classic music and concert tours featuring Armenian musicians. In addition, the EUFSC promotes Maltese musicians, young talented artists, composers, orchestras, and ensembles, frequently collaborating with the embassies of Russia, Belgium, Italy, Austria, amongst others. As the head of the EUFSC, Mr Ishkhanov also created Days of Armenian Culture in Malta, introducing the project at the 5th Malta International Music Festival. .
Therefore, Konstantin Ishkhanov focuses on the development of cultural relations between Armenia and Malta. Initially, he introduced Maltese artists to Armenian art by inviting Maltese musicians, conductors, and orchestra leaders to Armenia, showing local sights and landmarks and presenting stories of the country’s history. For this reason, Malta strengthened its interest towards the Republic and, in 2017, the governments of Armenia and Malta signed an agreement creating an artistic collaboration between the two countries.
In regards to the agreement, Ishkhanov asserts: “Culture comes before politics and the economy. If cultural ties between the two countries are well established, all the other relations will be formed properly”.
In 2017, the EUFSC also sponsored the 40th Jubilee of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards in London and organised a celebratory event dedicated to the 50th Jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Malta. This event was attended by Russian conductor Felix Korobov and Maltese violinist Carmine Lauri, amongst others, who performed Maltese and Russian compositions.
The year 2018 marked another Jubilee, celebrating 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Malta. In April of this year, the ‘Days of Armenian Culture’ event, sponsored by the EUFSC, was held in Malta. Its programme focused primarily on classical music concerts, with the opportunity to visit exhibitions dedicated to Armenia and its great composers Aram Khachaturian and Komitas.
In 2019, Malta hosted the first ice show in the Republic’s history. Jester’s Wedding was staged by Russian figure skater Ilya Averbukh. As founder of the EUFSC, Konstantin Ishkhanov has initiated a number of cultural projects including the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra; the State Symphony Orchestra of Armenia; the Symphony Orchestra “Kiev Virtuosos”; Orchestra Filarmonica Nissena Siciliana; the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella and the Symphony Orchestra of the Karelia State, amongst others.
In November 2019, the ‘Modern Classics’ International Music Festival and the Crystal Palace ballet were held in Armenia, under the patronage of the EUFSC:
As recipient of several honorary awards, tMr Ishkhanov became the only foreign citizen to receive the highest national award in the category of ‘Exceptional Contribution to the Cultural Life of Malta’ in 2019 while, in December of the same year, he was also awarded a medal for his contribution to the development of musical culture, receiving the recognition from Valery Vorona, Rector of the State Music and Pedagogical Institute named after Ippolitov-Ivanov.