Komitas, a.k.a. Soghomon Soghomonyan, was born on September 26, 1869 in Anatolia, Turkey, in the town of Koutina (Ketaia). His father, Gevorg Soghomonyan was a shoemaker but he also composed songs and had a beautiful voice. The composer’s mother – Tagui — was also singled out for her vivid musical abilities; she was a carpet weaver. Komitas’s childhood was joyless and full of deprivations. He lost his mother when he was less than one year old, and because his father was too busy his grandmother took care of him. At age 7 Komitas entered the local elementary school. As soon as he finished school his father sent him to Broosa to continue his education. However, he failed and 4 months later he came home having ultimately become an orphan: his father passed away and Soghomon was only 11 years old…
1. Katie Trumpener, «Bռla Bartցk and the Rise of Comparative Ethnomusicology: Nationalism, Race Purity, and the Legacy of the Austro Hungarian Empire,» in Music and the Racial Imagination, ed. Ronald M. Radano and Philip V. Bohlman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
2. Christopher J. Walker has observed, «to be a Western Armenian is, with few exceptions, either to be dead or in exile.» See: Christopher J. Walker, Armenia: The Survival of a Nation, 2 Sub edition (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1990)
3. Sylvia Alajaji, «Diasporic Communities and Negotiated Identities: Trauma, Recovery, and the Search for the Armenian Musical Voice,» 2009