Statue of Komitas Unveiled In Istanbul, Turkey.

A statue of Armenian priest, musicologist, composer and singer Komitas was unveiled in the garden of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul on Saturday, November 23.

The Patriarchate’s Locum Tenens Bishop Sahak Mashalian presided over the ceremony.

The bust was carved by famous painter and sculptor Erol Sarafyan. Philanthropist Sarkis Külegeç supported the initiative.

Born on on September 26, 1869 , Komitas (Soghomon Soghomonian) was an Armenian priest, musicologist, composer, arranger, singer, and choirmaster, who is considered the founder of the Armenian national school of music and is recognized as one of the pioneers of ethnomusicology.

On April 24, 1915, the day when the Armenian Genocide officially began, he was arrested and put on a train the next day together with 180 other Armenian notables and sent to the city of Cankiri in northern Central Anatolia, at a distance of some 300 miles.

His friend, Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, Halide Edip, and the U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau intervened with the government, and, by special orders from Talat Pasha, Komitas was dispatched back to the capital, but the nightmare he had experienced left a deep ineradicable impression on his soul. Komitas remained in seclusion from the outer world, absorbed in his gloomy and heavy thoughts – sad and broken.
In the autumn of 1916, he was taken to a hospital in Constantinople, Hôpital de la paix, and then moved to Paris in 1919, where he died in a psychiatric clinic in Villejuif in 1935. Next year, his ashes were transferred to Yerevan and buried in the Pantheon that was named after him.

H/T Public Radio of Armenia

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