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Sayat-Nova
(Armenian: Սայաթ-Նովա; Persian/Azeri: سایاتنووا; Georgian: საიათ-ნოვა) was born in Tbilisi (Tiflis in Armenian) on June 14, 1712 and died in Haghpat on September 22, 1795 and is known as "King of Songs" for Armenians. Real name is Harutyun Sayatyan and his mother Sara was a Georgian Armenian although father was Karapet from Aleppo or Adana. Sayat-Nova was skilled in writing poetry, singing and playing the kamancheh. He performed in the court of Heraclius II of Georgia, where he also worked as a diplomat. He lost his political clout at the royal court when he fell in love with the Georgian king's daughter, and spent the rest of his life as an itinerant bard. In 1795 he was killed in Haghpat Monastery by the army of Agha Mohammed Khan. About 220 songs can be attributed to Sayat-Nova, although he may have written thousands altogether. Most of his songs are in Armenian, Georgian, Azerbaijani Turkish and Persian. A number of them are sung to this day. He was also fluent in Arabic. Sayat-Nova is considered by many the greatest ashough (folk singer-songwriter) that ever lived in the Caucasus (the area between the Black and the Caspian sea). In Armenia Sayat Nova is also considered a poet with a considerable contribution to the Armenian poetry of his century. His tomb is found on the main Armenian cathedral Surb Gevork premises in Tbilisi.


Raffi
(Armenian: Րաֆֆի) the pen name of Hakob Melik Hakobian (Armenian: Յակոբ Մելիք-Յակոբեան) is a renowned Armenian author born in 1835 in Payajouk, an Armenian village situated in north of Iran, but led all his productive literary life in Tbilisi (Tiflis in Armenian) where he died in 1888. Raffi is a prominent figure of Armenian literature.


Gabriel Sundukian
(Armenian: Գաբրիել Սունդուկյան was born in Tbilisi in 1825 and died there in 1912. He was an outstanding Armenian writer and playwright, the founder of modern Armenian drama. Coming from a wealthy Armenian family, Sundukian learned both classical and modern Armenian, French, Italian and Russian, studied at the University of Saint-Petersburg, where he wrote a dissertation on the principles of Persian versification. Then he returned to Tiflis and entered the civil service. In 1863, the Armenian theatre company of Tiflis staged his first play, Sneezing at Night's Good Luck. His well-known play "Pepo" (1871) was made into the first Armenian talkie in 1935. Another famous film based on his work is "Khatabala" (1971). The Armenian State Theatre in Yerevan is named in his honor.


Hovhannes Tumanyan
(Armenian: Հովհաննես Թումանյան) (1869 -1923) is considered one of the greatest Armenian poets and writers. He was born in village of Dsegh in the Province of Lori, Armenia, but lived and wrote in Tbilisi. He is usually regarded in Armenian circles as "All-Armenian poet". He created lyrics, fables, epic poems and translations into Armenian of Byron, Goethe and Pushkin.


Aram Khachaturian
(Armenian: Արամ Խաչատրյան, Aram Xačatryan; Russian: Аpaм Ильич Xaчaтypян) (1903–1978) was a Soviet-Armenian composer whose works were often influenced by Armenian folk music. He was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, to a poor Armenian family and immigrated to Moscow.


Sergei Parajanov
(Armenian: Սարգիս Հովսեփի Փարաջանյան, Sargis Hovsepi Parajanyan; Georgian: სერგეი (სერგო) ფარაჯანოვი; Russian: Сергей Иосифович Параджанов, was born in Tbilisi in 1924 and was a Soviet Armenian film director and artist, widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema. He was arrested several times because of his work. It was not until mid-80's, when political climate started to change, that he could resume directing. Still, it required help of influential Georgian actor David (Dodo) Abashidze and other friends to have his last feature films green-lighted. His health seriously weakened by 4 years in labor camps and 9 months in Tbilisi prison, Parajanov died of lung cancer in 1990, at the time when, after almost 20 years of suppression, his films were finally again allowed to be featured in foreign film festivals.

 

 

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