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Sogomon Komitas (né Soghomonian) (Composer)

Born: 8th October 1869, Kutahya, Turkey

Died: 22nd October 1935, Villejuif, France

Nationality: Armenian

Soghomon Soghomonian, ordained and commonly known as Komitas, 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.

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