A Standing Ovation for the Gurdjieff Ensemble

October 3, 2019


A standing ovation ensued at the AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Performing Arts Center on Sunday, September 29, 2019, as the Gurdjieff Ensemble concluded its encore performance of the evening. The concert, which was organized by AGBU’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) and the AGBU Western District in celebration of Komitas’ 150th Anniversary, was the third stop in the Ensemble’s American debut tour. The Ensemble’s tour started in Chicago, continuing on to New York, with a final show in Pasadena, CA.

The concert event was like no other as it brought to life rich Armenian music from the 10th century for a 21st century audience. The Gurdjieff Ensemble, which is comprised of ten leading musicians from Armenia playing authentic Armenian and Middle Eastern instruments, attracted a widely diverse audience of music lovers of all ages and all ethnicities. The Ensemble used a total of 16 different instruments in their performance to play the music of composer and spiritual leader G.I Gurdjieff and one of the pioneers of ethnomusicology, Komitas.


Starting off the concert on a strong note, distinguished pianist Lusine Grigoryan took the stage to play beautiful music by Komitas. Following her set, Levon Eskenian, the Ensemble’s founder and artistic director, spoke to the audience about the Gurdjieff Ensemble and the importance of its music. “The St. Garabed Monastery was destroyed during the Armenian Genocide, but what remains is the music. Today we are here to perform those beautiful songs,” explained Eskenian. With that, the ensemble’s ten musicians took their places to start what was an unforgettable concert.

“Bravo!” echoed throughout the beautiful performances by the ensemble and a standing ovation was in order as the Ensemble stood up and took a bow after their final set. AGBU Western District Chair, Talin Yacoubian, took the stage at the end to acknowledge the ensemble for its excellent performance and present them with a Recognition Certificate from the Los Angeles City Council Member Monica Rodriquez. “I believe there is an encore performance,” announced Yacoubian and the audience, still standing from the ovation, started to cheer and take their seats to listen to the final performance by the Gurdjieff Ensemble.

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The Gurdiieff Ensemble visited the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School the day after their concert to meet with the students and share their passion for our culture and heritage. The success of the concert performance is still resounding in a slew of emails thanking AGBU for the experience. “Listening to the resurrection of music from the 10th Century is truly awe-inspiring and a magical journey through time,” said Yacoubian.

“We are always hosting out of the box concerts here at AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Performing Arts Center and we invite you to join us,” mentioned Yacoubian during her speech. The concert, which was the second of the year for AGBU Western District, was once again a huge success. The next concert will be held on Sunday, November 17, 2019 featuring the District’s very own AGBU LA Choir. The concert will be the first solo concert by the choir, which was formed in 2018.

For the AGBU LA Choir concert tickets and more information please visit https://www.showclix.com/event/agbuchoir2019 or call the AGBU Western District office at 626-794-7942.