YEREVAN (Armenpress)—An evening dedicated to Sayat Nova’s 300th anniversary was held in the Exhibition Hall of the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia.
The editor of “Georgia” newspaper Van Bayburthyan, members of parliament, religious leaders of the Georgian diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, representatives of the Armenian, Jewish, Kurdish, German, Latvian, Estonian, and other communities, as well as Georgian intellectuals and public personalities were present at the event, which was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to Georgia in association with “The Caucasus House” cultural center.
Sayat Nova was an Armenian poet, musician and troubadour, who had compositions in a number of languages.
Sayat Nova’s mother, Sara, was born in Tbilisi and his father, Karapet, either in Aleppo or Adana. He himself was born in Tbilisi. Sayat Nova was skilled in writing poetry, singing, and playing the kamancha, chonguri, and tambur. He performed in the court of Erekle II of Georgia, where he also worked as a diplomat and, purportedly, helped forge an alliance between Georgia, Armenia and Shirvan against the Persian Empire. He lost his position at the royal court when he fell in love with the king’s sister, and spent the rest of his life as an itinerant bard.
In 1759 he was ordained as a priest in the Armenian Apostolic Church. His wife Marmar died in 1768, leaving behind four children. He served in various locations including Tbilisi and Haghpat Monastery. In 1795 he was killed in the monastery by the invading army of Mohammad Khan Qajar, the Shah of Iran, for refusing to denounce Christianity and convert to Islam. He is buried at the Cathedral of Saint George, Tbilisi.
In Armenia, Sayat Nova is considered a great poet who made a considerable contribution to the Armenian poetry and music of his century. Although he lived his entire life in a deeply religious society, his works are mostly secular and full of romantic expressionism.
About 220 songs have been attributed to Sayat Nova, although he may have written hundreds more. He wrote his songs in Armenian, Georgian, Azerbaijani and Persian. His compositions assume the form of traditional Armenian songs.