world music, jazz, popular music

The Gurdjieff Ensemble - Komitas, Bartók, Gurdjieff

one interval
Festival Theatre
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest

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Exerting a similarly pronounced influence as Bartók and Kodály did in the 20th-century movements renewing Western classical music based on folk music foundations were the Armenian composer Komitas and the Armenian-Greek philosopher and composer George Gurdjieff. It is after the latter that The Gurdjieff Ensemble, a group founded by Levon Eskenian to play music on traditional Armenian instruments, is named. At Müpa Budapest, they will play for the first time Bartók's folk music collections, drawing a parallel between them and pieces Komitas based on folk music collections.

Founded in 2008 from an assortment of outstanding Armenian folk musicians, The Gurdjieff Ensemble returns the work of its namesake spiritual leader to its roots. In other words, they play - on Armenian folk instruments - the piano works and classical pieces he transcribed from folk music collections with the aid of the Russian Thomas de Hartmann. The band released and toured with its first album on the ECM label in 2011 and then paid tribute in similar fashion to the work of Komitas, the Armenian musicologist who collected 4000 Armenian folk songs, with an inspired 2015 album. Although this concert will feature excerpts from these programmes, the Gurdjieff Ensemble is also preparing a première, playing traditional arrangements of a few of the pieces Bartók collected from Anatolian villages inhabited by Armenians in the 1930s. This programme offers a unique musical experience and a journey through time, in which the border world between classical and folk music will fill with life.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest

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  • duduk, zurna, pku
    Emmanuel Hovhannisyan
  • blul, zurna
    Avag Margaryan
  • kamancha
    Armen Ayvazyan
  • oud
    Aram Nikoghosyan
  • kanon
    Meri Vardanyan
  • santur, vocals
    Vladimir Papikyan
  • tar
    Davit Avagyan
  • dap, dhol, tmbuk
    Mesrop Khalatyan
  • duduk
    Norayr Gapoyan
  • arranger, artistic director
    Levon Eskenian



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