By Christine Aghakhanian
Over 300 concert-goers filled the Glendale Presbyterian Church on December 9, to hear the melodic classical Armenian folk music of Komitas, which was brought to life by the world-renowned Komitas Quartet.
Mistress of Ceremonies Nune Avetisyan introduced the dignitaries who were present at the performance organized by the Hi-Am Charity Foundation. In attendance was His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, State Senator Anthony Portantino and City of Glendale Mayor Ardashes Kassakhian.
Archbishop Derderian thanked the Komitas Quartet for continuing to enlighten the community with Komitas Vartabed’s inspirational music during this very dark chapter in Armenian history and encouraged them to continue their plight of carrying out the musical culture of the Armenian nation, while remembering our brothers and sisters in Armenia. Senator Portantino and Mayor Kassakhian each presented proclamations to the Quartet thanking them for their important contributions to the world of classical music and enriching the Armenian American community with Komitas’ rich compostitions.
Some of the pieces in the program included, “Shogher Jan,” “Yerkinkn Ampela,” “Garuna,” “Haberban” and “Vagharshapat Dance.” The Quartet also performed music by Handel, Mozart and Rachmaninov, in addition to Edvard Mirzoyan’s “Quartet.” Receiving a standing ovation, the Komitas Quartet enthusiastically played additional pieces during their encore performance to a delightfully surprised crowd of Komitas admirers.
The Komitas Quartet consists of violinists Edvard Tadevosyan, Syuzi Yeritsyan, violist Alexander Kosemyan and cellist Angela Sargsyan. Established in 1924, the Komitas Quartet was granted the title of State Quartet of Armenia in 1931 and has won several honors and accolades throughout the years. The current members of the Quartet, hailed by Aram Khatchaturian as the “jewel of the musical culture of Armenia,” are third and fourth generation musicians.
The evening concluded with Nshan Ajemian, founder of the Hi-Am Charity Foundation, thanking the Quartet for their wonderful performance along with all the organizers, volunteers and attendees at the event who made the concert possible.