Armenian State “Akunq” Ethnographic Ensemble

It was created on April 4, 1974 by folklorist, ethnographer Maro Muradyan. 1977 As a result of the concerts following the first performance at the Yerevan State University in autumn. It won the hearts of listeners, becoming the torchbearer of the Armenian national song.The ensemble included around 25 members of the first or second generation of native Armenians who were displaced from Western Armenia in 1915, from Mush, Van, Sassoon, Shatakh and other places. 1979 the group was invited to Estonia to participate in an international ethnographic festival and was a great success. 1981 the ensemble officially became the State Ensemble of the National Radio and Television of Armenia, after which filming and recording began. The Central Television of Russia, constantly referring to the activities of the group, invited to programs. Documentary films were shot with the participation of “Akunq”: “In the Origins of the Song”, “Taron World”, “The Return of the Song”. The latter won an award at the All-Union Festival of Music Films. Since 1981 the concert tours of the ensemble began abroad. 1981 West Germany, 1982 Alma-Ata, Kiev, 1983 Moscow, 1984 Rostov-on-Don, 1987 USA and Canada, 1988 Moscow, 1991 Italy, 1996 Sicily, 2000 Turkmenistan, 2001 India, 2002 Belgium and Germany, 2009 Syria and Western Armenia, 2011, 2015 Western Armenia, 2017 Egypt, 2021 Moscow, 2023 Saint Petersburg, Sochi.Through the “Nerses Mets” foundation founded by Archbishop Mesrop Ashchyan, the ensemble performed three major performances on the stages of Yerevan’s National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet and National Academic Theater after G.Sundukyan: “Holy Karapet”, “Varaga Holy Cross”, “Karos cross”.Later, the musical film “Saint Karapet” was also filmed with the participation of “Akunq”. The group’s programs included songs and dances of different ethnographic zones and different genres of historical Armenia. 2007 At the national music awards ceremony, “Akunq” was awarded the “Best Ethnographic Ensemble of the Year” award. 2016 received state status, faithfully fulfilling the mission of the preserver and developer of valuable Armenian national musical and ritual cultural traditions and the artistic director of the ensemble was composer, Komitas expert Artur Shahnazaryan, who taught “Akunq” more than 150 new songs in the first two years, that including songs written by Komitas but not yet performed.Thus, the repertoire of the ensemble, being supplemented, actually included songs from almost all regions of Eastern and Western historical Armenia: wedding, holidays (Flower Day, New Year, Vardavar, Barekendan), work (sandi, khnotsu, ilik spinning, winch, all stages of bread making, etc.)  songs, lullabies, comedies, children’s songs, love songs, dance songs, epic, historical, patriotic, lyrical songs, etc.Even today, around two dozen male and female singers of the senior, middle and young generations continue the work of Hayrik Muradyan, a devotee of Armenian music, keeping alive his request to “stay Armenian and live Armenian”. 2023 the ensemble was included in the National Center of Folk Music and Dance. The music director of the ensemble is composer, komitasologist Artur Shahnazaryan.

Creative Staff