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Komitas

Artur Shahnazaryan

Shahnazaryan pays moving tribute to the father of Armenian music.

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October 2019


Komitas

Composer and musicologist Artur Shahnazaryan examines the legacy of Komitas, whose music evokes an entire ethos of homeland and belonging for Armenians. Komitas was many things in his life, among them composer, singer, priest, collector and arranger of folk songs, choirmaster, and scholar of the Medieval Armenian khaz notation system. Here, Shahnazaryan considers Komitas’s contributions to the preservation of Armenian folk music—and by extension, an entire culture that was at the brink of extinction at the turn of the 20th century—and why he holds such a sacred place and meaning in the Armenian consciousness.


Artur Shahnazaryan is a composer and musicologist who has dedicated much of his professional life to the study of Komitas. He is a member of the governing board of the Composers’ Union of the Republic of Armenia and is the former director of the Office of Folk Creation at the Komitas State Conservatory. Shahnazaryan has published major works on Komitas, Armenian folk music and Medieval Armenian neumology. A composer in his own right, Shahnazaryan’s music has been performed across Europe and the United States.