09, 2012

President Serzh Sargsyan’s remarks at the official ceremony of the public presentation of the Komitas Museum-Institute


Your Holiness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have gathered in the place which is dear to us all. Many of the greatest sons and daughters of our nation are interred here. However among these sacred names there is one which is exceptional in every sense. I am talking about Vardapet Komitas. He was almost everything: a composer, collector, folklorist, musicologist, conductor and pedagogue. His personality was compared to many outstanding personalities and the huge work accomplished by him was compared to many outstanding works. All the comparisons are somewhat insipid; however there is one comparison which stands close to the truth. He is the Mashtots of the Armenian song and music. The words of Komitas himself are the most convincing argument in favor of this comparison: “Armenians have their own music… because music of every nation bears and unfurls its own sonic up-and-downs. The Armenian language has its special sounding, therefore there is a matching music.”

There are individuals whose name and work have a nation-defining mission, i.e. their name and their work become an indivisible part of that nation’s identity and self-consciousness. There is no Armenian identity and self-consciousness without Mashtots and Komitas, and it’s a fact.

Komitas left a huge legacy, bits and pieces of which still can be found in different corners of the world. Of course it’s not the quantity that’s important but the quality and nature of that legacy. Fully aware of that fact, we believe that it is only natural that the Komitas Museum-Institute should be created in Armenia. I agree with those who believe that the existence of such an institution is a necessity, call of the times.

I assume and would like to believe that the Komitas Museum-Institute will become a major center for the Armenian as well as foreign researchers. Komitas had unearthed not just songs, but a full layer of civilization, which it should be admitted, has not been fully understood by us yet, have not yet made it a full-fledged property of the Armenian and world music societies. Komitas should not be a worshiped but unknown idol. Komitas should be an active participant of our cultural life, one of the most important factors of our refining identity, should continue to lead us through the complicated crossroads of the 21st century.

Komitas did not die physically in 1915, but in our minds he is a martyr of the Great Eghern because at that very time this exceptional figure was lost for the Armenian nation and for the world. I believe that one of the avenues to immortalize the memory of Komitas and all our victims may become the construction of the Saint Martyrs Church in the central part of Yerevan. Many spiritual and secular individuals have expressed their aspiration to build such a church. I too have spoken about it.

Taking this opportunity, I appeal to our sisters and brothers in Armenia and Spyurq, to all benefactors and all those interested to partake in this sacred undertaking. The Saint Martyrs Church will be dedicated to the memory of all our innocent victims of all times and will be a promise of our undying memory.

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