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Gurdjieff Ensemble

Events at the festival:

A world-renowned ensemble, inspired by artistic and philosophical ideas of the famous Armenian mystic Georgi Gurdijeff. Its music is rooted in folk and religious music -- Armenian, Greek, Arab, Kurdish, Assyrian, Persian and Caucasian.

In its record Komitas released in 2015 by the prestigious ECM label, the group took up the work of Komitas Vardapet – an Armenian composer, ethnomusicologist, arranger, vocalist and priest, known as the father of contemporary Armenian music.

The group was set up in 2008 under the name The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble. The initiative was launched by the Armenian musician Levon Eskenian with the aim to play G.I. Gurdijeff’s and Thomas de Hartmann’s piano music, creating arrangements characterised with authentic sound and ethnographic awareness. The ensemble consists of leading Armenian instrumentalists, playing such instruments as. duduk, ney, saz, tar, kamancheh, oud, kanon, santur, daf, tombak and dhol. 

Music Of Georges I. Gurdjieff was their first record released by Munich-based ECM, in 2011. Since that time the ensemble’s concerts have always been sold out. The group also gives concerts at festivals throughout the world: in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and South America. Currently they focus on Armenian music – early, mediaeval, and contemporary, secular and sacred, performed using authentic ancient instruments. The leader and the founder of the ensemble – Levon Eskenian – is an Armenian born in Lebanon. In the mid-1990s he returned to Armenia, where he completed his education at the conservatory. He also studied in Austria and Italy.

Gurdijeff Ensemble has numerous awards to its credit, including the Dutch Edison Award for the best world-music record 2012 and Armenian National Music Award for the best folk record 2011.

Photo by Andranik Sahakyan

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