Cappella Romana brings Armenian music to Eugene

Discover the ageless beauty of forgotten Armenian liturgical music with Cappella Romana’s performance of “Lost Treasures of Armenia” on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 8 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church, 1857 Potter St. Directed by Haig Utidjian and Alexander Lingas, Cappella Romana leads an exploration of traditional Armenian chants by Makar Ekmalian and Komitas Vardapet, along with newer arrangements. 

Makar Ekmalian (1856–1905) was an Armenian composer, teacher, and choirmaster. His most noted piece was the Patarag, the canticles of the Armenian literugy. Komitas Vardapet (1869–1935) was an Armenian priest, musicologist, composer, arranger, singer, and choirmaster, who is considered the founder of the Armenian national school of music. He was a student of Ekmalian. Komitas is recognized as one of the pioneers of ethnomusicology. Prior to the Armenian genocide, he collected and transcribed over 3,000 pieces of Armenian folk music, more than half of which were subsequently lost. He is considered the “savior of Armenian music.”

Haig UtidjianHaig Utidjian is a British conductor of Armenian descent. He was educated at the Universities of Sussex, London and Cambridge, at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In his native Cyprus, Haig was a pupil of Archbishop Zarch Aznaworean and was ordained to the diaconate of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church. He has served, sung, and conducted in churches in Armenia and throughout the Armenian diaspora. Haig is a student of the Armenian Hymnal and patrology. His musicological research investigates the intersections of Armenian church music with Byzantine and Ottoman classical traditions.  

Alexander Lingas, Music Director of Cappella Romana, is a Reader in Music at City University London and a Fellow of the University of Oxford’s European Humanities Research Centre. He received his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of British Columbia. In 2018 Lingas received the title of Archon Mousikodidaskalos (Music Teacher) of the Great Church of Christ on behalf of His All-Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch. The title of Mousikodidaskalos honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the teaching and academic study of Byzantine chant. 

The concert, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and cosponsored by the OHC’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities.

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