Komitas Vartabed and the Survival of Armenian Music. June 9

0205KomitasThis season’s final Zohrab Center enrichment evening will be devoted to the legacy of the celebrated and beloved Armenian priest-musician-composer, Komitas Vartabed.

Ashley Bozian-Murtha will present a talk entitled, Komitas Vartabed and the Survival of Armenian Music at the Zohrab Center on Thursday, June 9 at 7PM.

Komitas is a central figure in the history of Armenian music, particularly the sacred music of the Armenian Church. His contributions span liturgical, folk, and even concert music. Surprisingly, despite his universal admiration today, during his lifetime his work earned him the ire of church officials and his fellow clergymen, who frequently denounced him as a musicological firebrand and moral deviant.

KomitasVartabedPerhaps more significant than his work inside Armenia, however, is his legacy to the global Armenian diaspora. While controversial during his lifetime, Komitas was uniquely positioned to preserve Armenian music from the oblivion of genocide. Were it not for his oft-condemned inclination to transcribe and transform the music of Armenia, that vast tradition may well have perished in the attempted destruction of the Armenian people.

Much research exists on the life of Komitas, and on Armenian music as a separate entity, but there remains a relative paucity of work to place the two in context with one another. Ms. Bozian-Murtha will survey and sort through the biographical, musicological, and historical research on the composer and his impact on Armenian music. Analyzing the composer’s original compositions and transcriptions along with secondary biographical sources and historical data, she asserts that the very survival of Armenian music in the aftermath of the Genocide is a direct result of Komitas’s labors. 

2016-05 MaranciVigilantPowersFlyer.001.jpeg.001CLICK HERE to download a flyer.

Ashley Bozian-Murtha is a PhD candidate in History at St. John’s University (New York). She holds a B.A. in History and Music and an M.Ed. from Manhattanville College (New York). Following her undergraduate work, she earned an MA in Music History from Hunter College, where she wrote her master’s thesis on the life and work of Komitas Vartabed. 

The program will be held in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York. All are welcome to attend the free event, which will be followed by a reception.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

The Music of the Armenian Church. Presentation of a New Book by Krikor Pidedjian. Thursday, April 7

2016-14 PidedjianFlyerA new book by Krikor Pidedjian entitled, Հայ Եկեղեցւոյ Երաժշտութիւնը / The Music of the Armenian Church: An Historical Survey, will be presented at the Zohrab Center this Thursday, April 7 at 7:00PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York.

Mr. Pidedjian, an accomplished composer, choral conductor and musicologist specializing in the history, theory and repertoire of Armenian sacred and secular music, has received awards and commendations internationally for his artistic and scholarly contributions. Most recently, he was recognized by the faculty of the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia, where he has lectured frequently. In 2008 His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II awarded him the St. Nersess the Graceful medal for outstanding service to the Armenian Church.

The new book, written primarily in Armenian includes an extensive summary in English and is profusely illustrated with musical examples. The book has been published by the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern).

Presenting the book will be Deacon Rubik Mailian, Director of of Sacred Music and Pastoral Assistant at St. John’s Armenian Church (Southfield, Michigan). Deacon Mailian will speak in English before Mr. Pidedjian makes remarks in Armenian.

Krikor Pidedjian was born into a musical family in Alexandria, Egypt. He studied in the Seminary of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, where, concurrent with studies at the Beirut Conservatory, he directed the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral Choir. He received a B.S. from the Mannes School of Music and M.A. from Hunter College, both in New York.He is the founder of numerous choirs and ensembles which, under his direction, have performed Armenian sacred and popular music on stages throughout the world. He has lectured internationally on Armenian music and published extensively. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his musical and scholarly work, most recently by the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan.

The book presentation is free and open to the public. Copies of Mr. Pidedjian’s book will be available for purchase. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Information Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

CLICK HERE to download a color flyer.

 

New Book on 19th Century Armenian Composer Kristapor Kara-Murza

19th century Armenian composer Kristapor Kara-Murza was an instructor at the Kevorkian Seminary in Holy Etchmiadzin and composed a setting of the Divine Liturgy.
19th century Armenian composer Kristapor Kara-Murza was an instructor at the Kevorkian Seminary in Holy Etchmiadzin and composed a setting of the Divine Liturgy.

Musicologist Mr. Krikor Pidejian will present his new book on the 19th-century Armenian composer Kristapor Kara-Murza on Thursday, February 19 at 7:30PM at St. Leon Armenian Church, 12-61 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ.

Noted pianist Şahan Arzruni will also speak at the event.

The Zohrab Information Center is co-sponsoring the event with St. Leon Armenian Church (Fair Lawn, NJ), the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), the Armenian Network of America- Greater NY, the Esayan-Getronagan Alumni Association and the Tekeyan Cultural Association.

Kristapor Kara-Murza was arguably the first composer to introduce homophony or chordal music to Armenian music and the first to form mixed gender choirs that brought Armenian men and women together to sing as a group.

Kara-Murza also composed a setting of the Badarak, the Divine Liturgy.

Krikor Pidedjian and Şahan Arzrun will place the work of Kara-Murza in historical and social contexts and bring to life exchanges with personalities of the time, such as Khrimian Hayrig. They will share new discoveries, including a Divine Liturgy composed by Kara-Murza that was found by Krikor Pidedjian and Kara-Murza’s connection to the Armenian national anthem, Mer Hayrenik.

Krikor Pidedjian is a noted conductor, composer and author. He will speak in Armenian.Şahan Arzruni is an accomplished pianist, composer, writer, producer and recording artist. His presentation will be in English.

2015-02 PidejianFlyer-page-001Click here to download a flyer.

The book presentation is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For more information call St. Leon Armenian Church at (201) 791-2862

Learn! Grow! Inspire! 2015 Spring Lecture Series

ZZohrab.001The Zohrab Center presents a rich and varied program of lectures, book presentations, and other stimulating opportunities for enrichment and edification this Winter and Spring. Armenians and anyone interested in Armenian civilization, arts, letters, and faith will find many options to learn, to grow and to inspire others.

A new study on Armenian music, a guide to the Armenian Church’s Holy Week ceremonies, a photographic album of the old Armenian community of Bourj-Hammoud, a Genocide-era novel, and a new travelogue of historic western Armenia will all be showcased by their authors. In addition, noted scholars will hold forth on various facets of Armenian Studies, including Vartan Matossian, Helen Evans and Roberta Ervine. A movie night and other events are also planned.

The Zohrab Center is collaborating with several sister organizations and parishes to co-sponsor some events.

All events are open to the public and most are free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all presentations take place at the Zohrab Center (Armenian Diocese, New York). Check back frequently for updates and additions. For further information contact ZIC at info@zohrabcenter.org or (212) 686-0710.

ZIC Schedule of Events Spring 2015

Thursday, February 5 (7PM)
“Code Name Haiko: Discovering the Last Unknown Participant in Talaat Pasha’s Liquidation” Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Armenian National Education Committee

Thursday, February 12
Commemoration of St. Vartan and His Companions. Divine Liturgy and Dinner followed by Lecture. Co-sponsored with St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral
“An Anthropologist Considers St. Vartan: Faith, Nation and Memory” Lecture by Christopher Sheklian, University of Chicago

Thursday, February 19 (7PM)
St. Leon Armenian Church, Fair Lawn, NJ

The Life and Work of 19th-Century Armenian Composer Kristapor Gara-Murza. Book Presentation by Krikor Pidejian with Şahan Arzruni.

Thursday, March 5 (7PM)
Co-sponsored with Eastern Diocese Department of Armenian Studies
Portraits of Survival: The Armenians of Bourj Hammoud. Book Presentation by Ariane Ateshian Delacampagne.

Thursday, March 12 (7PM)
A.G.B.U. Center, New York

Historic Armenia after 100 Years. Book Presentation by Matthew Karamian

Thursday, March 19 (7PM)
“A Guided Tour of Holy Week in the Armenian Church” Lecture and Book Presentation by Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Zohrab Information Center/St. Nersess Armenian Seminary

Wednesday, April 8 (7PM)
“Picking Up the Pieces: Three Bishops and Their Vision for the Armenian Church circa 1920” Lecture by Dr. Roberta Ervine, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary

Thursday, April 16 (7PM)
Co-sponsored with the Eastern Diocese Department of Armenian Studies
The Martyred Armenian Writers 1915-1922. Book presentation by Herand Markarian

Thursday, April 30 (7PM)
“Armenian Art: Voice of a People” Dr. Helen Evans, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, June 2 (7PM)
The Survivor. Book Presentation: Rosemary Hartounian Cohen.