PRESS RELEASE: Brian May will visit Armenia for the first time …

Starmus - Rick Wakeman and Brian May
Starmus – Rick Wakeman and Brian May

… to rock at the Starmus VI International Festival


This September, STARMUS, the international festival of science and music founded by Garik Israelian and Brian May, will take place in Yerevan, Armenia.  More than 50 speakers will gather together at this sixth STARMUS celebration, including Nobel laureates, astronauts, scientists, authors, and iconic music stars, to enhance and promote science communication and music.

Co-founder of Queen, musician, singer, songwriter, astrophysicist, and stereoscopist, Dr. Brian May has just confirmed his presence in Armenia at the beginning of September, 2022. Best known as the guitarist of the rock band Queen, and for his international hit songs composed for the band including “We Will Rock You”, “The Show Must Go On”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “I Want It All”, “Too much love will kill you”, “Hammer to Fall”, “Save Me” and “Who Wants to Live Forever”, Dr. May is also an astrophysicist and science communicator. In 2020, he was ranked the Greatest Guitarist Of All Time by Total Guitar Magazine.

Brian May played a significant role in the Rock Aid Armenia campaign in 1988 ( when he personally invited many world-class musicians (such as David Gilmour, Tony Iommi) to join the project to support Armenia, but until this time he has never been able to visit.

Dr. Brian May met Dr. Garik Israelian, one of the world’s leading astrophysicists, from the Institute of Astrophysics of Canary Islands,  in 1998. Years later, Israelian helped May to complete his PhD thesis and earn his PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London in 2007.

The friendship between May and Israelian led to the collaboration with an Armenian duduk legend Jivan Gasparyan. In 2005 they had a once-in-a-lifetime performance together at the 46664 concert in honor of Nelson Mandela held in Tromso, Norway. (30min+)

Brian May & Djivan Gasparian – The Feeling Begins (46664 Arctic 2005)

Brian May worked with Montserrat Caballe on a unique version of Queen’s “Is this the world we created?” for her album “The Island of Christianity: Armenia & Artsakh” –

In 2011, Brian May and Garik Israelian initiated STARMUS – a daring and unique new form of collaboration between art and science. The concept of science popularization along with the sharing of music gave rise to a fascinating global festival that has brought together some of the most brilliant minds on the planet. Its aim is to inspire and educate the next generation of explorers and regenerate the spirit of discovery. Since then, in all 5 festivals have been held (In Spain, Norway and Switzerland) and the 6th will take place in Armenia in September, 2022 (

The founders have published 3 Starmus books that include all the lectures and highlights of the first three festivals.

Brian May will be in Armenia for STARMUS VI festival this fall to perform from the main stage. STARMUS VI Armenia will also host world class musicians such as Rick Wakeman, Serj Tankian, the band Sons of Apollo, Andrey Makarevich, and Tigran Hamasyan.



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STARMUS is a gathering of the most brilliant minds of our days who share their art and science with educated, but not professional audience. It was conceived as a democratic event accessible to most of the people who are interested in art, science and space exploration. 

Founded in 2011, the first STARMUS festival, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight, shot off with a breath-taking programme featuring moonwalkers Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke, legendary astronauts Jim Lovell, Alexei Leonov (the first person to perform a spacewalk), Bill Anders, Viktor Gorbatko, Richard Dawkins, Jill Tarter,  Nobel prize scientists Michel Mayor, Kip Thorne, Jack Szostack, George Smoot, rock stars Brian May and Tangerine Dream, and many other representatives of arts and sciences. The 108 Minute panel discussion held for the first time at STARMUS I in honour of the duration of Gagarin’s flight became a tradition for all the following editions of the festival. In 2011 it was joined by Neil Armstrong, Alexie Leonov, Richard Dawkins and Brian May, among others. 

The 2014 STARMUS II featured Stephen Hawking who also joined the 108 Minutes panel. Alexei Leonov and Professor Hawking shared the stage for ground-breaking lectures, and Leonov’s 80th anniversary was celebrated during this feast of art and science. Prof. Hawking became a member of the STARMUS Advisory Board. 

STARMUS III, held in 2016, was a tribute to Stephen Hawking featuring 10 Nobel laureates, concerts by Hans Zimmer, Sarah Brightman and Brian May.  

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, Joseph Stiglitz were among our distinguished speakers, while Alexei Leonov joined a special panel with space legends to honour Professor Hawking. 

STARMUS IV was held in 2017 in Norway and joined by 11 Nobel laureates, Oliver Stone, Larry King and other legends of arts, sciences and space exploration. STARMUS IV also became the site of the European premiere of “The Spacewalker”, a film dedicated to Alexei Leonov’s legendary spacewalk. 

In 2019, STARMUS V, held in Zurich, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, with 10 Nobel laureates, 6 Apollo astronauts, Hans Zimmer and Lucerne Symphonic Orchestra & Chorus, Brian May, Steve Vai and Rick Wakeman. 

STARMUS has so far hosted 24 Nobel laureates, 9 Apollo astronauts and such eminent personalities as Stephen Hawking, Oliver Stone, Larry King, Tony Fadel (founder of Iphone, Ipod and Nest), Brian Eno, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson etc. 

We believe that by popularizing science and making it accessible to as many people as possible we can promote new generations of giants such as those who have participated in STARMUS along its brief but intense history. We hope to help shape a new civilisation based on true science and sublime art.

SOAPBOX – STARMUS VI – On my horizon