Yerevan State Chamber Choir
Yerevan State Chamber Choir www.yerevanchamberchoir.com
Founder, artistic Director and Chief Conductor –
Honored Art Worker of Armenia Harutyun Topikyan.
The creative activity of maestro Harutyun Topikyan, since the creation of the Chamber Choir of the State Television and Radio of Armenia in 1979, is mostly devoted to the performance of Armenian choral music from Komitas to contemporary Armenian composers.
Having been founded in 1996 by Harutyun Topikyan, Yerevan Chamber Choir became one of the well-known musical collectives and since 2009 was recognised as a State collective (YSCC).
The first tours of the Yerevan Chamber Choir starts from the International Music Festival in Ravenna, Italy (1997). Within the framework of Armenian Culture Days in Germany, the Choir performed the newly discovered Mass by Komitas and new pieces by T. Mansurian in Bonn, Halle, Wittenberg and Magdeburg then in Syria and Lebanon (1998). At the International Music Festival in Bergen (1999, Norway) world famous musicians – violist Kim Kashkashian and saxophonist Jan Garbarek performed music together with the Choir. Then the collective took part in the 30th Music Festival in Halle (2000, Germany), and the same year at the 3rd Annual Armenian Music Awards in Glendale (USA) the CD “Music by KOMITAS Vardapet” was granted the Best Traditional Album award.
Dedicated to the celebration of 1700 years of Christianity in Armenia the Choir had joint performances with the La Scala Theatre Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir led by Riccardo Muti (2001).
Successful concerts were held in Armenia and Germany together with the collective of “Frankfurter Kantorei” led by Winfried Toll (2000 – 2002). At the festival “The Palaces of St. Petersburg” (2003) the Choir had the honor to perform the new hymn of the city. Then there were participations at the International festivals of Benjamin Britten (2003, Armenia), at the “Hallische Musiktage” (2005, Halle, Germany) and at the “Festival d'Ile de France” (2006, Etampes, France). By the invitation of the Syrian Arab Republic, Armenian music was performed by the Choir on the stages of Aleppo, Lathakia and Damascus (2007). The famed Choir took part in the TV-marathon Yerevan – Moscow – Shushi –Bethlehem (2008).
Dedicated to the 140th birth anniversary of Komitas, the Choir performed almost all choral masterpieces by the Great Master in the capital and regions of Armenia (2009). At the “50th Musica Sacra Virgo Lauretana” festival (2010, Loreto, Italy), the YSCC had the honor to perform the heritage of Komitas, which was broadcasted live on TV in more than 50 countries. For the first time ever only by this collective were performed the Blessings “Berlin Liturgy” by Komitas (2012), the 1st polyphonic liturgy by Kara Murza (2013) and the “Liturgy of Mchitariants” (2014).
Within the frames of the project “Luys I Luso” dedicated to the 100th commemoration of Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, in tandem with the outstanding pianist Tigran Hamasyan the YSCC recorded album of sacred religious music – Sharakan by Mesrop Mashtots, Grigor Narekatsi and Anania Shirakatsi arranged by the pianist himself for piano and choir (2014, ECM Records). T. Hamasyan and the Choir had long-term tour across Europe and in the cities of Turkey and Georgia (2015). The same year the Choir was invited to The Moscow Easter Festival for the 5th time founded by Valery Gergiev (2004 – 2015).
In 2016 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Choir many congratulations from famous world festivals were received, as well as state awards were granted in recognition of Choir’s efforts and contribution of many years to the world choral music culture. Within the frames of the “Armenian Contemporary Music Festival” the Choir performed numerous pieces by Armenian contemporary composers for the first time. In autumn of the same year, within the frames of “Sharakan” festival the Choir had a chance to perform works, dedicated to the promotion of Armenian sacred music.
In collaboration with Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra and with three prominent Russian choirs the YSCC participated in opening ceremony of the first Armenian-Russian choral congress (2017). The same year within the frames of Art Stop program of the National Chamber Music Center the YSCC had concerts in Stepanakert and Kajaran.
To date 15 CDs have been recorded by the YSCC.
Along with numerous concerts, recordings and tours in 2017 the YSCC under the direction of maestro Topikyan, was working hard on recording the album of choral pieces by Willy Weiner. The premiere of the new program “Willy Weiner and Friends” was held in February 2018.
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.