AKHALTSIKHE (ARMENPRESS)—The Sayat-Nova State Minstrel Song Ensemble has organized concerts in the Armenian villages of the Akhaltsikhe district of Georgia, representing and spreading Armenian culture and music among Georgia’s Armenian community.
Speaking to Armenpress, the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church said that the first concert took place at the historical fortress of Akhaltsikhe’s Rabat district. The works of Sayat Nova and other Armenian folk musicians were heard at the concert, which was attended by the mayor of Akhaltsikhe, Giorgi Kopadze.
The Sayat-Nova State Minstrel Song Ensemble was established in 1927 by singer and musician Shara Talian. Between 1942 and 1972, the Ensemble was directed by Vagharshak Sahakian, before it ceased its activities during a twenty year lull. The Ensemble reestablished itself under the leadership of Tovmas Poghosian in 1972, and still performs today both in Armenia and in the Diaspora.
The Ensemble’s orchestra is directed by composer Artem Khachatur. It features both singers and a wide range of traditional instruments, including the tar, saz, santour, dap, kamancha, kamani, and tav kamani.
The repertoire of the Ensemble consists of more than 300 Armenian minstrel songs from the past and present.
The Ensemble recently widened its repertoire to include 24 compositions of Armenian folk musicians from the Peri province of Iran. A majority of these songs were previously unknown.
Nearly each and every one of minstrel Sayat Nova’s works-31 in total-were likewise
31 of the Ensemble’s songs have been recorded and released in two albums, “National Patriotic Songs of Armenian Minstrels” and “Songs of Armenian Minstrels of Peri”.
The Sayat-Nova Ensemble has performed throughout Armenia and the Diaspora, including in Russia, Georgia, Iran, the United Kingdom, and the United States.