Armenuhi Drost-Abgarjan is a Doctor, Professor, Armenologist, specialist in Byzantine studies and Oriental studies. She graduated from the Department of Armenian Philology of Yerevan State University (1977) and did her post-graduate studies at the Institute of World Literature of Russian Academy of Sciences (under the supervision of Sergey Averintsev). Starting from 1985, she has been teaching and doing research at Martin Luther University of Halle. In 2003, she defended her PhD thesis on the šarakans (հymns) of Theophany in the Department of Christian Oriental Languages and Literature of the same University. After the defense she received the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Oriental Studies and the title of Professor in Armenology. She is the co-founder (1998) and the Head (since 2010) of the Mesrop Center for Armenian Studies at the University Halle-Wittenberg. She is a member of the editorial board of the University magazine ‟Hallesche Beiträge zur Orientwissenschaft”. In 2012-2016, she was the Head of the Department of Christian Orient at the Institute of Oriental Studies of Martin Luther University. A. Drost-Abgarjan is the author of a number of scientific publications and comparative studies dedicated to the history of Armenian literature in the context of Christian Oriental languages and Armenian-Byzantine literary relations. Together with Hermann Goltz she translated the Grabar texts of the ritual book Šaraknocʽ (Hymnary) into German with extensive footnotes and the Grabar-Greek-German equivalents (1990-2010), which will be published in Patrologia Orientalis series (Rome). As a member of the board of the International Association for Armenian Studies (IAAS) Drost-Abgarjan has delivered lectures and presentations at different European universities (Oxford, Vienna, Paris, Ghent, Geneva, Rome, etc.). During her scientific activities she studied ancient Armenian manuscripts of Jerusalem, Bzoummar, Antelias, Vienna and Venice.
KOMITAS AS A KEY FIGURE FOR ARMENIAN-GERMAN RELATIONS
The founder of modern Armenian music – Komitas is one of the greatest figures symbolizing Armenian-German relations. Being the student of Berlin musicologist Professor Oskar Fleischer, who defended his doctoral thesis in Halle and one of the founding members of the International Music Society, Komitas introduced the peculiarities of Armenian secular and spiritual music to German society. At the same time he studied German musical culture, mastering the achievements of modern European musicology and research methods.
Studying theory of music and the art of composing at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin (now Humboldt University of Berlin) (1896-1899) Komitas was particularly involved in the comparative research of neumes and European musical notation. His article on Armenian Church music was published in the first issue of the recently launched journal of the International Music Society. At the beginning of the World War I, upon the request of the European Center for International Cooperation in Musicology the young scientist delivered lectures and concerts devoted to Armenian music in different European schools.
With his art of composing he created a unique style combining the traditions of Armenian music with different means of expression of Western European music. As the successor of Wagner, he returned to Etchmiadzin to establish the Armenian Branch of the International Music Society there. Becoming a music lecturer at the Gevorgian Seminary, he introduced reforms in curriculum of the Seminary following the example of Germany. Over the next 15 years, before becoming a victim of the Armenian Genocide, Komitas kept in touch with the German music world.
In 2012, Komitas’s commemorative plaque found its worthy place on the wall of the building of the Faculty of Musicology at Humboldt University, in the center of Berlin, next to the commemorative plaque of German philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The article covers the role of Komitas in the Armenian-German scientific and cultural relations, both in Komitas’s publications and letters, as well as in the memoirs of his contemporaries, colleagues and pupils.