Armenian Women

in search of Herstory

Archive for the category “musician”

Anahit Tsitsikian (1926-1999)

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First renowned Armenian woman-violinist

Born in St-Petersburg in 1926, she began playing the violin at the age of six. At the beginning of World War II, she moved to Armenia and studied at the Yerevan state conservatory from 1946 to 1950 where she was granted the Stalin Scholarship. In 1954 she completed her graduate course at the Moscow State Conservatory.

She began performing professionally at elementary school age; her performances included many solo performances as well as with symphonic orchestras. Beginning in 1961 she became the principal soloist of the Armenian Philharmonic Hall. Ms. Tsitsikian performed throughout the Republics of the former Soviet Union and in 27 countries around the world.

Starting in 1950, she worked as a professor at the Yerevan State Conservatory, and she established three new courses in its curriculum: The History and Theory of Bowed Instruments, The History of Armenian Performing Arts, and A Course of Music Teaching Practice.

During her artistic life Professor Anahit Tsitsikian performed in more than 1000 recitals, recorded sixty pieces of archived music and authored more than 300 articles and scenarios for many radio and television programs.

You can listen to her performances here.

Sahakdukht (8th century)

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Musician, Healer, Music Therapist

Famous musician, Sahakdukht was the sister of the great writer Stepanos Syunetsi. Her brother was known for his translations of classical Greek Literature to Armenian. He was tragically assassinated and after his death, Sahakdukht fell into a deep grief and retired in a cave in the valley of Garni, district of Syunik. But she was not alone in her retreat, many people followed her and mainly those suffering from nervous diseases. Hidden behind a curtain, Sahakdukht played her lyre to heal people suffering from melancholia and nervousness.  It was the start of music therapy. She became so famous, that after her death, people continued visiting her grave for pilgrimage.

Source: Vahram Torkomian, Les armeniennes dans l’histoire de la medecine, 1986

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