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Concert - Armenian Music of Grikor Mirzaian Suni

Thursday, January 17, 2008
12:00 AM
The Armenian Congregational Church, 26210 West 12 Mile Rd. (at Franklin Road, near Northwestern Highway, between Northwestern and Telegraph), Southfield, MI

This concert features works by Grikor Mirzaian Suni, composer, conductor, ethnomusicologist, and teacher (1876-1939). Performed by singers Maro Partamian, mezzo-soprano; Rubik Mailian, lyric tenor; and pianist Armena Marderosian (wife of Grikor Suni's grandson University of Michigan, Professor Ronald Grigor Suny); with great granddaughters of the composer violinist sisters Sevan Siranoush Suni and Anoush Tamar Suni. Anoush Suni will also play oud. Sponsored by the Tekeyan Cultural Association at The Armenian Congregational Church. A small admission charge benefits the Tekeyan Cultural Association: $20; $10 for students. Audience youngest is age 12.
Grikor Mirzaian Suni (1876-1939) is one of the founders of modern Armenian music. Born east of Lake Sevan in Getabek village, he was raised in the eastern reaches of Historic Armenia, in Shushi (now part of Azerbaijan). Suni's music is beautiful, soulful, lively classical art music based in Armenian folk music of his own collecting, and includes vocal solos and duets, 4-part choral works, orchestral suites, and instrumental pieces. His music is unique and at the same time "Armenian," and like the music of Bach is polyphonic, contrapuntal, and versatile, wonderful on any instruments. From a long line of Armenian ashough singers, Mirzaian (Suni) worked with all the Armenian masters of his time, and then at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, Mirzaian Suni studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov. Suni collected the songs of Armenians during his wide travels in the Caucasus, Anatolia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, and India. World war, revolution, and the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians caused Suni to flee to the U.S. in 1923, where he conducted church choirs, created Armenian folk choruses, soloists and orchestras, in New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia (where he settled in 1925), and supported Armenia from afar. His son Gourgen (George) Suny picked up his father's baton in 1939.