Yerevan State Chamber Choir
Founded in 1996 by Harutyun Topikyan, under generous sponsorship of His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin I, the Yerevan Chamber Choir became one of the well-known musical collectives performing outstanding choral music of classic and contemporary composers in Armenia and beyond. The continued support by His Holiness Catholicos Garegin II enabled the Choir develop further, which in 2009 become a state institution renaming the Yerevan State Chamber Choir (YSCC).
10 CDs are recorded by the Choir to date. The 3rd Annual Armenian Music Awards held in 2000 in Glendale, California/USA granted the BEST TRADITIONAL ALBUM award to the “Music of KOMITAS Vardapet” CD recorded by Yerevan Chamber Choir. Numerous recordings of the Choir are saved and archived in funds of Armenian State Radio and TV.
The international appearance of the Yerevan Chamber Choir begins in 1997 with participation in the International Music Festival in Ravenna/Italy, where it performed Armenian classical and modern choral music. At the same year, the Choir performed the concert “Ars Poetica” in 4 pieces written by contemporary Armenian composer Tigran Mansuryan; the concerts were performed in Armenia, Germany, Syria and Lebanon.
Within the framework of Armenian Culture Days in Germany in September 1998 the Choir had outstanding performances in several German cities including Bonn, Halle, Wittenberg and Magdeburg, performing the newly discovered versions of Komitas Mass and pieces of Tigran Mansuryan.
In May 1999 the Yerevan Chamber Choir participated in the International Music Festival in Bergen/Norway with works of Komitas and T. Mansuryan on the program. In addition to acapella songs famous violinist Kim Kashkashyan and saxophonist Jan Garbarek accompanied several masterpieces being greatly appreciated by the audience.
Choir was an active participant of the 30th Music Festival in Halle/Germany held in November 2000.
In 2001 within the celebrations dedicated to the 1700 years of Christianity in Armenia the Choir had joint performances with the Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir of “La Scala” Theatre (Italy) led by Ricardo Mutti.
During 2000-2002, the Yerevan Chamber Choir cooperated with the German “Frankfurter Kantorei” Choir led by Winfrid Toll. Series of joint performances were held in Yerevan as well as in Frankfurt/Main, Bonn, Limburg, which were honored with a high appreciation by UNESCO/Germany.
In 2003 the Choir was invited to the Festival “The Palaces of St. Petersburg” in Russia. Two concerts presenting Armenian folk and sacred music by classic and modern composers were greatly enjoyed by the public. The Choir was honoured to perform the recently adopted hymn of St. Petersburg. At the same year, the Choir participated in the International festival of Benjamen Britten and the celebrations of Aram Khachaturyan’s 100th birth anniversary in Armenia.
In 2004 the Choir was invited to the Moscow Easter Festival making the Easter celebrations shine with the colours of Armenian classical choral music.
In autumn 2005 the Choir participated in the festival “Hallische Musiktage” in Germany, having remarkable concerts in Leipzig and Halle. The concerts at the Collégiale Notre-Dame du Fort – Etampes within the “Festival d'Ile de France” in October 2006 were another successful appearance of the Choir in Europe.
The year 2007 started with invitation of the Choir to the Moscow Easter Festival: contemporary and classical Russian composers’ chorals, Armenian sacred and folk chorals were on the program, performed in Gala Concert at the Chaikovski Hall plus a solo concert at the Center after Pavel Slobodkin on Arbat, Moscow.
In October 2007 the Choir had outstanding concerts in Aleppo, Lathakia and Damascus performing classical Armenian choral music and gathering a strong public of choir admirers.
In 2008 the Choir took part in the TV-marathon Yerevan-Moscow-Shushi-Bethlehem. A year after it was invited to the Moscow Easter Festival- for the third time.
During 2009 on the 140th birth anniversary of Komitas the Choir had numerous concerts both in Yerevan and in almost all regions of Armenia, performing the masterpieces of Komitas: this is a part of the major mission and continued efforts of the Choir - to spread and popularize the heritage of the great Armenian composer.
In 2010 the YSCC had a great opportunity to present the Armenian choral music and the works of Komitas in the “50th Musica Sacra Virgo Lauretana” festival in Loreto/Italy, (April, 2010), which was spread on TV in more than 50 countries.
Several premières performed by the Choir marked prominent musical events in Armenia: the “Ars Poetica” of Tigran Mansuryan (1997), “Berlin Liturgy” of Komitas (2012), the 1st polyphonic liturgy by Kara Murza (2013), the “Liturgy of Mchitaryants” (2014).
The repertoire of the YSCC is expanding permanently: in addition to classical works of Armenian, Russian and western composers, it includes now jazz compositions. Joint performances with famous jazz pianist Tirgan Hamasyan are always well attended and greatly appreciated by the public. During 2015 under the “Lujs I Luso” musical project dedicated to the 100th commemoration of Armenian Genocide, Tigran Hamasyan and the Choir had many concerts across Europe as well as in neighboring countries, Turkey and Georgia, performing old Armenian sacred music beautifully arranged by the pianist himself for piano and voices.
In spring 2015 the Choir was invited to the Moscow Eastern Festival for the 5th time – this once again highlights the artistic mastery and unique soil of the collective.
for more info: http://yerevanchamberchoir.com/
artistic director and principal conductor
Professional activity of Topikyan-conductor started in 1973, when he graduated from the Yerevan State Komitas Conservatoire. Since then Harutiune Topikyan has successfully guided several choirs: organized and led the Chamber Choir of the State Radio and TV of Armenia, “Komitas" choir of the Yerevan State University, Yerevan Chamber choir. Topikyan was awarded with Laureate of the “Lenin YCU of Armenia” premium (1982).
The choirs, conducted by Harutyun Topikyan, participated in many international festivals and competitions. In 1987 the "Komitas" choir of the Yerevan State University was awarded with the "Grand Prix" at the “Uventus” International choir music competition in Kaunas (Lithuania).
In 1991 Harutyun Topikyan became one of the organizers of the East-West United Song Festival "Bridges of song Tallinn-91" (Estonia), where he was honoured to conduct 20.000 strong choir. The same year he was invited to the annual convention of American Musical Association in Phoenix, Arizona.
The 3rd Annual Armenian Music Awards held on November 17, 2000 in Glendale, California conferred BEST TRADITIONAL ALBUM award to: “The Music of KOMITAS Vardapet” CD, recorded by Yerevan Chamber Choir. Many records of choirs conducted by Topikyan are archived in funds of Armenian State Radio Company.
Currently Harutyun Topikyan guides the Yerevan Chamber. Starting 1996 up to 2004 the choir was supported by Catholicoses of all Armenians, His Holiness Garegin I and His Holiness Garegin II.
During this years 9 CD’s were recorded by choir, this including masterpieces of classical and contemporary Armenian music.
In July 1997 the Yerevan Chamber Choir, participated in the International Music Festival in Ravenna, Italy, where performed Armenian classic and modern music.