Komitas, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death



Ottoman Armenian composer and vardapet

Date of Birth: 26-Sep-1869

Place of Birth: KĂĽtahya, Turkey

Date of Death: 22-Oct-1935

Profession: composer, priest, conductor, singer, musician, musicologist, ethnomusicologist

Nationality: France

Zodiac Sign: Libra

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About Komitas

  • Soghomon Soghomonian, ordained and commonly known as Komitas, (Armenian: ???????; 8 October [O.S.
  • 26 September] 1869 – 22 October 1935) was an Armenian priest, musicologist, composer, arranger, singer, and choirmaster, who is considered the founder of the Armenian national school of music.
  • He is recognized as one of the pioneers of ethnomusicology.Orphaned at a young age, Komitas was taken to Etchmiadzin, Armenia's religious center, where he received education at the Gevorgian Seminary.
  • Following his ordination as vardapet (celibate priest) in 1895, he studied music at the Frederick William University in Berlin.
  • He thereafter "used his Western training to build a national tradition".
  • He collected and transcribed over 3,000 pieces of Armenian folk music, more than half of which were subsequently lost and only around 1,200 are now extant.
  • Besides Armenian folk songs, he also showed interest in other cultures and in 1904 published the first-ever collection of Kurdish folk songs.
  • His choir presented Armenian music in many European cities, earning the praise of Claude Debussy, among others.
  • Komitas settled in Constantinople in 1910 to escape mistreatment by ultra-conservative clergymen at Etchmiadzin and to introduce Armenian folk music to wider audiences.
  • He was widely embraced by Armenian communities, while Arshag Chobanian called him the "savior of Armenian music".During the Armenian Genocide—along with hundreds of other Armenian intellectuals—Komitas was arrested and deported to a prison camp in April 1915 by the Ottoman government.
  • He was soon released under unclear circumstances and experienced a mental breakdown and developed a severe case of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • The widespread hostile environment in Constantinople and reports of mass-scale Armenian death marches and massacres that reached him further worsened his fragile mental state.
  • He was first placed in a Turkish military-operated hospital until 1919 and then transferred to psychiatric hospitals in Paris, where he spent the last years of his life in agony.
  • Komitas is widely seen as a martyr of the genocide and has been depicted as one of the main symbols of the Armenian Genocide in art.

Read more at Wikipedia