Konstantin Ishkhanov is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has an outstanding achievement in promoting cultural and educational projects in Europe, the USA and Asia. As the founder and president of the European Foundation of Support of Culture (EUFSC), Ishkhanov is the first foreigner recipient of Malta’s highest cultural award.
In this interview, he discusses in detail about his journey in the EUFSC.
1) Please tell us something about yourself/your business.
I am Armenian. I was born in Baku and studied at the Institute of Oil and Chemistry. In 1990 we moved to Russia, and I continued my studies at the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. I worked for ten years in the gas and oil industry and Power engineering field (2005-2015). Then in 2015, I founded the European Foundation for Support of Culture. One of my main goals is to promote young and talented musicians by creating platforms where they can perform and go forward.
2) How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey?
I’ve always been surrounded by people who loved music and the arts. My parents both loved music. My mother would play classical music on the piano every day. We had many friends, among whom were famous musicians and artists… with whom we would talk, discuss arts, and spend musical evenings.
When I founded the EUFSC and started organizing small classical music concerts, I was truly surprised to realize the great interest of the public, how grateful all the people were upon leaving the venues after the performances. I started to receive some calls and emails with queries as to when the next events would be taking place. I think that was the moment when I realized that my support for culture could become something even more special. Thereafter we launched various projects across Europe, which soon after expanded into many other countries in various continents. Today I am proud to say that we hold events in around 27 countries around the world.
3) Who are your role models?
One should refrain from idolizing others, otherwise you will forget who you truly are. (laughs)
4) What’s your most memorable experience?
Malta International Music Festival 2018. That was the first year when we gathered on the island so many classical music stars such as Grigory Sokolov, Maxim Vengerov, Ray Chen, Andreas Ottensamer, Nikolai Lugansky, Salvatore Accardo, and many others. For the first time, we had a guest foreign resident orchestra for 13 concerts, leading international media, and many famous personalities.
5) How has failure set you up for later success?
We learn from our mistakes. I am grateful for everything that has happened and the experience I have gained in solving various problems and situations. I can say for sure that determination and commitment are my main secrets of success. Despite all the difficulties and obstacles that arise on the way to a dream, we must always go forward. When babies learn to walk, they constantly fall, but then they get up and continue trying. They are driven by the desire for success. I think we can all learn from them.
6) When you feel unfocused, what do you do?
I can’t afford to be unfocused, especially in the current pandemic situation.
7) How do you feel you make a difference in the world?
I hope that I really could make a difference. I truly believe that culture changes the world for the better and by supporting culture, I contribute to its positive influence on the world. I think of people whom the activities of our Foundation help, about grateful and admired audiences leaving the halls after our concerts, about young and talented artists whom we have opened the way to the musical life, how they have built and continue to build their successful careers.
8) How can people connect with you?
Official website: https://konstantinishkhanov.com