The Gurdjieff Ensemble was founded by Levon Eskenian to play ‘ethnographically authentic’ arrangements of the G.I. Gurdjieff/Thomas de Hartmann piano music, the ensemble consists of leading musicians playing Armenian and Middle Eastern authentic instruments. Their debut album on ECM records, Music of G.I. Gurdjieff, was widely acclaimed, and won prestigious awards including the Edison Award as Album of the Year in 2012 , since 2011 the ensemble has been touring around the world at major festival and venues such as the Holland Festival in the Netherlands, the Wege Durch Das Land, the Lux Aeterna of the Elbphilharmonie, the Rudolstadt and the Morgenland festivals in Germany, the Nostalgia Festival in Poland; the Imago Dei in, Austria; the Stansern Musiktage in Switzerland; the Fiestival in Belgium; and concerts at famous venues such as the Bozar Center For Fine Arts in Brussels; the Frari Church in Venice; the Pushkin State Museum in Moscow, the Albert hall in Canberra, Australia; the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam; the Sala Radio in Bucharest; the Gulbenkian hall in Lisbon, the Sala Sao Paulo in Brazil ;Capilla Del Buen Pastor in Cordoba, Argentina; the AUB in Lebanon; the Komitas hall in Yerevan and others.
Now Eskenian and his musicians turn their attention to the music of Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935). Composer, ethnomusicologist, arranger, singer and priest, Komitas is popularly held to be the founder of contemporary music in Armenia, and in his work as a collector he explored the connections that uniquely bind together Armenian sacred and secular music. With Eskenian’s special focus on folk instrumentation, antropological and ethnomusicological researches and inspired arrangements the Ensemble illuminates the deep roots of Komitas’s compositions in this programme recorded in Lugano and released in autumn 2015. Eskenian and the Gurdjieff Ensemble will continue touring with their music of Georges I.Gurdjieff programme and starting from the second season of 2016 also with their new Komitas programme.
The Gurdjieff Ensemble
Levon Eskenian – arranger, artistic director
Emmanuel Hovhannisyan – duduk, zourna, pku
Avag Margaryan – blul , zourna
Armen Ayvazyan – kamancha
Aram Nikoghosyan – oud
Meri Vardanyan – kanon
Vladimir Papikyan – santur, voice
Davit Avagyan – tar,saz
Mesrop Khalatyan – dap/dhol
Norayr Gapoyan – duduk
Eduard Harutyunyan -tmbouk, cymbals, bell