Karen Khachanov, Russian/Armenian

Death marches and concentration camps. Forced starvation and forced Islamization. Rapes and rapes and rapes and rapes and more than a million dead. Maybe that’s not the best place to start.

My teenage daughter is recording Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto for the National Trumpet Competition. Gypsy lyrical. Exciting, too, with plenty of showy trumpet techniques. We listen to the recording of it by Timofei Dokshitzer, the famous Russian trumpet player interpreting the great Russian trumpet concerto. Somehow I missed that Arutiunian was Armenian.

I always thought of Karen Khachanov as Russian, too.  He was born in Moscow, won the silver medal for Russia in the Olympics after beating Djokovic in the Tokoyo semifinals. The Russian flag always next to his name till he dropped it from his Instagram page during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. During his run to the Australian Open semifinals in 2023, Khachanov kept signing the television cameras with messages of support for the Republic of Artsakh. I learned that Artsakh was suffering through a blockade that deprived their largely Armenian population of many life necessities, including food. I also learned about the Armenian genocide in the first world war. How was it I never knew? Or how was it I had forgotten?

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