Monument to Sayat Nova in Yerevan
|Birth name|| Harutyun Sayatyan|
|Birth date|| 14 June 1712|
|Death place|| Haghpat|
|Death date|| 1795/11/22|
|Death year|| 1795|
|Resting place|| S. Gevorg Cathedral, Tiflis|
|Resting GPS|| 41° 41' 21" N, 44° 48' 32" E|
|Profession|| Priest, Musician|
|Religion|| Armenian Apostolic|
|Languages|| Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Persian|
|Dialects|| Eastern Armenian|
|Ancestral villages|| Tiflis|
Sayat-Nova ("Սայաթ Նովա" in Armenian) (1712-1795), meaning 'King of Songs' or 'Lord of Verse' in Persian, is the name given to Harutyun Sahakyan . He grew up in a village near Tbilisi, Georgia, and was skilled in writing poetry, singing and playing the Kamancheh. He performed in the court of Heracle II of Georgia, where he also worked as a diplomat, and apparently helped forge an alliance between Georgia, Armenia and Shirvan against the Persian Empire. He lost his place at court when he fell in love with the king's daughter, and spent the rest of his life as an itinerant bard. In 1795 he was killed in Haghpat by the army of Agha Mohammed Khan.
About 220 songs can be attributed to Sayat-Nova, although he may have written thousands altogether. These songs are still sung today. His songs are written mainly in Armenian, but also in Persian, Georgian and Azeri Turkish. He also knew Arabic.
Sayat Nova was officially recognized as the greatest ashough (folk singer-songwriter) that ever lived in the Caucasus (the area between the Black and the Caspian sea, shared among current Armenia, Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan). The world-famous Armenian composer Alexander Arutiunian wrote an opera called "Sayat Nova". Named after him are a music school in Yerevan, Armenia, a long-established Armenian dance ensemble in United States, and an annual music competition program, to cite a few.
The 1968 art film "Sayat Nova" directed by Sergei Parajanov - which was banned in the USSR - follows the poet's path from his childhood wool-dying days to his role as a courtier and finally his life as a monk. It was released in the United States under the title The Color of Pomegranates. It is not so much a biography of Sayat Nova but a series of tableaux of Armenian costume, embroidery and religious ritual interspersed with scenes and verses from the poet's life.
Tomb of Sayat Nova at Armenian Church in Tbilisi.
- Classical Composers Database
- http://armenianpoetry.com/arm/Sayat_Nova/ (in Armenian)