Naregatsi Folk Instruments Ensemble has been providing musical performances since August 2008 under the auspices of the Naregatsi Art Institute, its Founder–President Nareg Hartounian, and generous funds from donors and art lovers. The ensemble was founded on the basis of the tuition-free tar and kamancha classes organized back in 2005.
Founded with the purpose of fostering a love and interest in Armenian traditional music and instruments among the younger generations, the Orchestra hopes to give a new spirit to the preservation and development of national culture.
In the beginning, the ensemble was made up of 21 instrumentalists and 5 vocalists, all winners of national and international competitions and festivals. The Naregatsi Folk Instruments Ensemble was reorganized and renamed the Naregatsi Orchestra in January of 2016. Currently, the orchestra has 31 professional musicians playing on 14 Armenian ethnic instruments with a history of thousands of years. These ethnic instruments have evolved over time, developing more capabilities allowing them to perform music in almost any genre.
This first concert was held during the opening ceremonies of Lebanon's Culture Week in Armenia on August 27, 2008, followed by numerous concerts in Yerevan and various regions of Armenia, and Artsakh.
Between April and May of 2010, the ensemble embarked upon its first international concert tour in the French cities of Lyon, Toulouse, Paris, Sarlat, Cahors, and Romagne, as well as Geneva, Zurich, and Lugano of Switzerland.
During the National Music Awards 2010, The Ensemble's debut CD won the National Music Awards as "The best album of the year." The second album, “The Rebirth”, was released in 2012.
There have been numerous Narekatsi Orchestra music videos released, the most noteworthy of which was the orchestra's tribute to Serj Tankian and members of the SOAD band, the orchestra's own folk version of the song Aerials.
Hovik Sahakyan I RA Honored Worker of Culture and famous tar player have served as artistic director of the ensemble since its inception until June 2015. The Orchestra is currently led by its Artistic Director is Artem Khachatur, composer, musician, Honored Artist of Armenia.
The Naregatsi Orchestra inspires your relationship with Armenia’s ancient heritage through music by bridging the past and present to cultivate the future.
About Naregatsi Art Institute (NAI)
Naregatsi Art Institute (NAI) is a non-profit art organization established in 2000 with headquarters in Yerevan since 2004 and an educational art center in Shoushi since 2006. Founded by philanthropist Nareg Hartounian and named after Saint Gregory of Narek, the NAI’s principal mission is to preserve and promote Armenian art, culture, and spiritual values.
In addition to the occasional support of NAI friends and donors, the fundamental support of the NAI has been and is made possible by the generous contributions of Garabed Haroutunian, Saro Hartounian, and Harco Incentives Inc. USA www.harcoweb.com.