The Komitas Quartet is a string quartet musical ensemble founded in Moscow in November 1924, and is the oldest-established string quartet in the world still performing. It is now in the third and fourth generation of membership.
The group carries the name of Komitas who was a monk whose genius brought a renaissance to Armenian music at the turn of the 20th century. During its uninterrupted creative life, celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2009, the quartet has become well known throughout the world, taking part in numerous international festivals, giving concerts in more than 80 countries, and demonstrating the highest standards of performance.
The quartet has performed with Sviatoslav Richter, Nina Dorliak, Emil Gilels, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, Victor Merzhanov, Konstantin Igumnov, Walter Zeufert, Mario Brunello, Anahit Nersesyan and other prominent musicians. Aram Khachaturian described the quartet as the jewel of the musical culture of Armenia. Many Armenian and foreign composers have dedicated works to the quartet. The quartet was the USSR State Prize and Armenian SSR State Prize winner. The latest award is St. Mesrop Mashtots Order given by the Armenia President to Eduard Tadevosyan in 2010. The current members of the quartet are the third and fourth generation of players.
The founding members were four talented Armenian students at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory:
1st violin: Avet Gabrielyan
2nd violin: Levon Ogandjanyan
Viola: Mikael Terian
Cello: Sergey Aslamazian
This group gave its first public performance in February 1925.
1st violin: Eduard Tadevosyan
2nd violin: Syuzi Yeritsyan
Viola: Aleksandr Kosemyan
Cello: Hasmik Vardanyan
The quartet made a number of collection recordings in the USSR and released numerous albums in Russia, the United Kingdom, France and the USA. The latest CD's were released in recent three years. In 2007 "Armenian Contemporary Composers" studio album was released on the VEM label. The next edition of the "Armenian Folk Miniatures" album was released in November 2010 by subvention of the Ministry of Culture of Armenia.