The Suni Project: Music Preservation

Grikor Mirzaian Suni (1876-1939)

1723 Wells | Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3601 USA | (734) 996-1949 |

“Armenian Music: Sketches in Armenian Musicological History”

Grikor Mirzaian Suni’s book (ca. 1919) “Armenian Music: Sketches in Armenian Musicological History” newly translated into English and just published in Armenia in the original Armenian with English translation along with Suni’s autobiography!

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“Grikor M. Suni: Musician and Man”

Grikor M. Suni: Yerazhshtagetu yev Mardu,1943, Philadelphia hardback red book in Armenian, 409 pages:
“Grikor M. Suni: Musician and Man” by Hagop Kouyoumjian, who was a musicology student of Suni.

Photo Gallery (This gallery has the book images three across in 25 rows going down, starting with the book cover, small like the rest.)

PDF Document (This 8MB PDF document will open with all the book images large in the left column, and thumbnails along the righthand column..)

View a scan of this book from the archive at University of Michigan Dearborn
View a scan of this book from the archive at UCLA


“Hai Yerazhshtootyan Patmootyan Aknorkner”

Hai Yerazhshtootyan Patmootyan Aknorkner
Armenian Music History , Yerevan, 1959, with pages 204-210 about Grikor Mirzaian Suni, and a photo on page 193

1976 Suni Centennial

Complete Program (PDF)

“Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces (1-6). Edited by Richard G. Hovannisian. Photos”

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P.O. Box 2603, Costa Mesa, CA 92628, USA
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Armenian Van/Vaspurakan

Back Cover






Armenian Baghesh/Bitlis

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Armenian Tsopk/Kharpert

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Armenian Karin/Erzerum

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Armenian Sebastia/Sivas

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Armenian Tigranakert/Diarbekir and Edessa/Urfa

Back Cover

Renaissance of Van – Vasburagan Golden Age of Culture

Veradznoont Van – Vasburagani Mshagootyani Vosgetar 1850 – 1950 by Levon Kazanjian
Foreword by Samuel H. Toumaian Printed by Toumaian Brothers Boston 1950

View the Translator’s Note
View the Book’s English Translation Part One
View the Book’s English Translation Part Two
View a scan of this book in Armenian from the archive at UCLA

Photo of Prapion Kazanjian (featured on the inside cover of the book)

“Achan” Prapion Kazanjian (Shakarian)
(November 1876 – January 1950) Wife of author Levon Kazanjian “From the Lamented One”
(poem by Prapion Kazanjian shared by Levon Kazanjian)

All buildings beautiful, all faces happy and lovely,
There was a sweet unity there, and true peace.
Real peace, when the house is full of love.

A simple hut, but full of happiness, free of evil harm,
See a garden of fragrant flowers, like a cool paradise.
Life is tranquil and secure when the heart is full of love.

About the book: Renaissance of Van – Vasburagan Golden Age of Culture
Veradznoont Van – Vasburagani
  Mshagootyani Vosgetar
    1850 – 1950
  by Levon Kazanjian
Foreword by Samuel H. Toumaian
  Printed by Toumaian Brothers
    Boston 1950
    325 pages paperback with 20 images

The city and region of Van – Vasburagan of Historic Armenia has long cultural history, going back 3000 years. Levon Kazanjian focuses here on two golden ages of culture of his native city of Van, the fifth century, and on 1850-1950.
Levon Kazanjian writes: “The Armenian nation, in the fifth century, had its intellectual Golden Age, thanks to the beloved Catholicos St. Sahag, to the creator of the Armenian alphabet St. Mesrop vartabed, and to the encouraging action of the erudite king Vramshabuh, as well as the scholarly vartabeds of the times, Eznig Goghpatsi, Yeghishe, Khorenatsi, and others. After many centuries we shall pause to bring to light the birth in the 19th century of another Golden Age, which began in 1850 and continued until the tragedy of 1911 (sic) [1915 is the correct date] . . . It was then that those of our literary people who survived, spread out into foreign lands where they continued their magnificent work, and on bequeathing their work to their successors, passed on. Yes, it is the work of these that motivates us to record what we have been able to gather, to blend them together with their predecessors to complete our one-century story to 1950.

About Levon Kazanjian (Van 1868 – Boston 1950), author, teacher, nurse
Levon Kazanjian was active in education in the life of his home city of Van in historic Armenia, and in the life of Armenians through his reach in the Armenian world, including trips from Van to America, and finally moving to Boston with his family. Levon Kazanjian was a writer, and published articles in Armenian language press. * He wrote this book, in Boston, about the cultural history and people of Van – Vasburagan region without including a section about himself. In various places through the book he mentions his own involvement, but modestly refers to himself in own book mostly only as “the writer of these lines” or “this writer”, in Armenian transliteration as “dogherus krogh” [mu lines’ writer].
[*not to be confused with a younger writer for the Armenian press, married to compose Grikor Mirzaian Suni’s daughter Siran,
Levon Kazanjian (1889 Arabkir-1982 Philadelphia].
We wish to add him to his own list of cultural activists who passionately cared about Armenian education, history, affairs, and health. He was in contact with many like himself, and he traveled quite widely. In Van, he was active as a teacher of Armenian history, language and folk songs. In America he also studied medicine, and worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a nurse. (His second of five living children, Vanouhi, also worked there 1929-1939 as secretary in medical records). To help Armenians further their knowledge of the science of health, he translated into Armenian the important popular science book “Microbe Hunters”, authored by Paul de Kruif in 1926.
Levon Kazanjian was active in the Van – Vasburagan group in the US. Their journal is “Varak” named after Varak Monastery which still exists in Turkey near Van city.I n 1946 in Bronx, New York, Antranig Shahinian filmed Levon Kazanjian dancing with several Vanetsi men at an annual picnic Van – Vasburagan meeting. This 2-minute film is on our website
Levon and Prapion Kazanjian are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Boston.