On the evening before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, the UCLA VEM Ensemble celebrates the music of Armenian composers Komitas Vardapet, Alan Hovhaness, Edward Mirzoian and the legendary Aram Khachaturian with a free concert. Memory is important these days. While it might seem strange that such a tragic event as the Ottoman government's attempt to erase Armenian culture and systematically murder its Armenian citizens in the early 20th century would ever be forgotten, the current Turkish government refuses to even acknowledge that the genocide took place, and U.S. politicians have generally been too cowed by Turkey to make even a symbolic resolution in support of Armenians. Sometimes, music — and survival — is the best revenge, as the UCLA VEM Ensemble invokes the stirring power of these engrossing composers.
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., April 23, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.