Theater & Arts

Fresno State’s Keyboard Concerts explores musical talents of Komitas

Şahan Arzruni performs Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, with Fresno State’s Keyboard Concerts series.
Şahan Arzruni performs Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, with Fresno State’s Keyboard Concerts series. Special to The Bee

For Armenians, the man best known simply as Komitas is an essential part of their culture’s history. Considered the founder of the Armenian national school of music, he was a priest, composer, musicologist and singer. The Yerevan State Musical Conservatory is named for him.

Komitas, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, died Oct. 22, 1935, at age 66.

Almost exactly 80 years later, on Sunday, Oct. 25, you’ll get the chance to learn a lot more about Komitas from another master Armenian musician, Şahan Arzruni, in a special event presented by the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series.

Arzruni will give a recital and lecture titled “A Portrait of the Musician as a Young Priest.”

A multifaceted musician just like Komitas, Arzruni has toured throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia as a soloist, composer, ethnomusicologist, teacher, lecturer and writer. He holds degrees from Juilliard. He even appeared on American talk shows hosted by Johnny Carson and Mike Douglas.

Arzruni’s biography on his website notes that on the occasion of Aram Khachaturian’s Centennial in 2003, he was appointed the representative of Armenia’s Ministry of Culture in the Diaspora.

Andreas Werz, artistic director of Keyboard Concerts, calls the concert/recital “a very special program.”

The event is co-hosted by the Fresno State Armenian Studies Program and the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation.

A Portrait of the Musician as a Young Priest

Concert preview

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