Albert Franz and Karl Doppler and the Romani Influence on Hungarian Classical Music

Albert Franz and Karl Doppler and the Romani Influence on Hungarian Classical Music–an essay prepared for Claudi Arimany’s forthcoming 10-CD collection, Flute Music of Albert Franz and Karl Doppler

Any attempt to address the question of Roma—the proper name for people often referred to as Gypsies—influence on Hungarian classical music is a bit like trying to hold a drop of mercury in one’s hand. That liquid element is immediately recognizable, brilliantly silvery, and has a distinctly visible shape, but try to grasp it, divide it, analyze or define it, and the droplet fragments into a thousand equally beautiful, equally reflective particles. Parsing influences is a daunting task, impeded by nationalistic and ethnic sensitivities, the historic absence of a substantial written tradition by the Roma, changing boundaries in Eastern Europe over the last several centuries, and a general lack of knowledge regarding Europe’s largest minority. And the question of the Romani imprint on European classical music is only a part of a larger and perhaps even more important human question of learning to understand the culture and legacy of a group that claims no geographic home solely as its own, but has remained through the centuries the manifest bearer of artistic traditions in each country it has inhabited.
Romani musical influences—from urban virtuoso soloists to iconic village bands—permeate a range of Hungarian classical music: symphonies, operas and operettas, songs, chamber and solo works by composers including Franz Lizst, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Ernö von Dohnányi, Franz Lehár, Leopold Goldmark, and György Ligeti. Hungarian instrumentalists Leopold Auer, Jeno Hubay, David Popper, Joseph Szigeti, Eduard Remenyi, Zoltán Kocsis, Albert Franz and Karl Doppler; conductors Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Anton Seidl, Antal Dorati, Georg Solti, Zoltán Kocsis, Iván Fischer; singers Éva Marton, Sylvia Sass, and Márta Sebestyén; and the magnificent Takács Quartet are just a small fraction of the legendary classical musicians and pedagogues associated with this astoundingly music-loving country. Can we separate the output of these artists from the musical environments and formative experiences of their artistic growth?

In 1861, the great violinist and teacher Joseph Joachim recalled his impressions of renowned Roma violinist Ferkó Patikárus: “never had my mood been so stirred by a musical performance as by this.” Franz Liszt was electrified by the playing of numerous Roma musicians and attempted to capture their musical idiom in his Hungarian Rhapsodies and other works. In 1859, in Paris, he published Des bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie, enthusiastically crediting the creation of a Hungarian national music to the Roma. Liszt’s book stirred a fiery controversy—a nationalist argument that maintains its vehemence to the present day. Countless memoirs, compositions, and biographies of Hungarian artists, and indeed even the writings of Beethoven, Haydn, and European royals, cite the powerful emotional impression made by Roma musicians such as János Bihari, Béla Radics, Jancsi Sági Balog, János Salamon, János Lavotta, Pál Tendi, their exquisitely nuanced violin and cimbalom playing, and their ciganyzene (Gypsy music)—verbunkos (recruiting dances) and czárdás (two-step dances)—so pervasive in Hungarian musical life. In some cases, styles and forms intermingle like colorant dissolved into water, and in others, they remain as distinct as the droplets of mercury we find we cannot grasp in our hands.

Angus Fraser, in his informative book, The Gypsies, describes the historic integration of Roma musicians into Hungarian musical life:
“In Hungary, a number of the old-established Gypsies (known to others of their race as romungre or Hungarian Rom) had quickly become serviceable to the Magyars as minstrels…Their ascendancy in music was already evident in the mid-eighteenth century, when they became indispensable not only to the folk in the villages but also to the Magyar nobility, and at banquets it became customary for a Gypsy minstrel to stand by the host’s chair, ready to minister to his musical mood. Soon Gypsy bands—led by a virtuoso violinist—were making numerous successful appearances. Individual musicians achieved personal reputations. Untutored, their spontaneous freshness and quickness to adapt ensured a continuing ability to please Hungarian listeners: music-making, rather than smithery, became regarded as the highest of the Gypsy occupations…By the middle of the nineteenth century they were to be found all over: ‘Gypsy music’ was in high fashion.”

A description from Liszt’s book, Des Bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie, gives a vivid image of his impressions of Roma performers in his day:
“The gypsy artist is one who takes the theme of a song or a dance just like the text of a discussion, as a poetic memorial, and who moves and flutters round this notion, of which he never loses sight, in the course of his improvisation. Most admired of all is one who lavishly enriches his own subject with runs, appoggiaturas, leaps, tremolos, chord stopping, diatonic and chromatic scales, troupes of notes in such a way that on account of this abundance of ornamentation the original idea is scarcely more apparent than the broadcloth in the sleeve of a brown cloak through the artistically worked out lacing and braiding which covers it with a dense and multicolored network.”

This passage might equally describe the Doppler brothers’ flute writing in Hungarian-flavored works heard in this set of discs. It could also describe techniques Liszt used in his own Hungarian Rhapsodies, six of which Albert Franz Doppler orchestrated and published. Rhapsodies Nos. 3 and 11, in particular, are filled with the augmented seconds and shimmering cimbalom-like writing that are typical markers of Romani influence. The nineteen Rhapsodies, as a whole, exude a sense of exultation, wild passion, freedom of form and expression that were the quintessential qualities of the finest Roma virtuosi—and the defining characteristics of instrumental music in the high Romantic era as well. The Romantic yearning for ecstasy, the sublime, and oneness with nature, the longing for something that Sigmund Freud later described as the “sensation of eternity, of something limitless, unbounded, something ‘oceanic’” has been pursued by artists for centuries. Around the year 1600, composers belonging to the elite Florentine camerata had attempted to recapture the phenomenon of “intoxication by music,” as described by the ancient Greeks. Those experiments resulted in the birth of opera. The Greek idea that music held the power to move men and the success of the greatest Roma performers in achieving exactly that effect held an enormous attraction for a wide public.

Other composers, writers, and artists of Liszt’s and the Doppler brothers’ era had fallen deeply under the spell of Romani culture. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, innumerable works drew from Romani traditions with varying degrees of authenticity: Bizet’s Carmen, Brahms’ Zigeunerlieder, Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Johann Strauss’s Gypsy Baron, the virtuoso violin works of Kreisler and Sarasate including La Gitana and Zigeunerweisen, Ravel’s Tzigane, Victor Herbert’s The Fortune Teller, and Dvorak’s Gypsy Songs are just a few of the works inspired by the lives and art of these often misunderstood people. Romani influence is apparent in much of the output of flutist-brothers Albert Franz (1821-83) and Karl Doppler (1825-1900), who like Lizst and many other nineteenth-century musicians, enjoyed dual careers as performers and composers. Additionally, each of the Doppler brothers spent decades as flutists and conductors in Austrian and Hungarian theaters in the ultimate years of the bel canto opera era, when beauty of sound production, the dramatic quality of the breath, and long, spinning lines prevailed as musical values.

The Dopplers skillfully integrated both improvisatory and rhythmic elements characteristic of both virtuoso urban and village Romani musicians into their enormous catalogue of flute compositions, exploiting the vocal, registral, and rhythmic-percussive capabilities of the instrument. Albert Franz Doppler’s best-known flute work, Fantaisie pastorale hongroise, Op. 26, is a paradigm of a Romani-influenced classical piece and has landed at the core of the repertoire, universally beloved by flutists. The atmospheric modal opening, at times evoking a shepherd’s pipe, is ornamented with delicate appoggiaturas and turns. The work progresses through dance-like sequences and ends in a rollicking czárdás. The cadenzas provide the performer with ample opportunity for ardent outpourings, interspersed between songful melodies and brilliant passage work. (In this writer’s opinion, student flutists could gain crucial stylistic knowledge by listening to recordings of great Roma violinists including Ferenc Sánta, Sándor and Roby Lakatos, and cimbalomist Kálmán Balogh in order to hear descendants of the musical dynasties that inspired the Doppler brothers. Village music recordings by the Szászcsávás Band and Muzsikás Folk Ensemble would provide further valuable context.)

The history of the Roma is a long, complex, and painful saga of a rich culture—a narrative that has largely been transmitted through oral tradition. Attitudes toward the Roma and the diverse subgroups under the umbrella of that broad appellation—Romanichals, Manouche, Sinti, Ashakli, Beyash, Romanlar, Domari, Lom, and many others—are fraught with misunderstanding and prejudice. Ian Hancock, Romani scholar and former representative to the United Nations for the International Romani Union, explains:
“The understanding of Gypsy identity among the non-Roma is vague, which usually results in prejudice. There are many reasons for that: the association of the Roma with the Islamic takeover of parts of the Christian world; color prejudice, specifically the association of darkness with sin; the exclusionary nature of Romani culture, which does not encourage intimacy with non-Roma and creates suspicion on the part of those excluded; fortune telling, which inspired fear but had to be relied upon as a means of livelihood in response to legislation curtailing Romani movement and choice of occupation; the fact that the Roma have no territorial, military, political, or economic strength and are therefore easily targetable as scapegoats because they cannot retaliate, and the fact that the “gypsy” persona has an – again unchallenged – ongoing function as a symbol of a simpler, freer time. . .”

The early history of the Roma is unclear. It is commonly believed, though, that the original group travelled from northern India to Persia around the tenth century. Even at this early point in their history, many of them were identified as musicians. From Persia they proceeded to Armenia, Anatolia, the Byzantine Empire, Greece, the Balkans, the Kingdom of Hungary, Transylvania, and subsequently, throughout the European countries. In many of the nations they entered, they were viewed as dangerous intruders because of their itinerant ways, their lack of desire to assimilate fully into the local cultures, and the mystery surrounding their origins—a mystery sometimes cultivated by the Roma themselves as a protection against hostile authorities.
Frequently in their history, the Roma have suffered barbarous oppression. In Spain, by the end of the seventeenth century, the royals sought so fervently to settle transient Roma that they were allowed to live only in places that had two hundred or more inhabitants. Moreover, they needed written permission to travel and were prohibited from engaging in any profession unconnected with cultivation. The Roma—known in Spain as Gitanos—could be seized by local authorities almost at will, and any outsider found guilty of aiding or protecting them could be fined or even sent to the galleys. This situation continued to deteriorate through the first half of the eighteenth century and reached a climax in July of 1749 when King Ferdinand VI, acting with the advice of the Bishop of Oviedo, devised and instituted a plan to round up approximately 12,000 Roma, including women and children, and send them off to forced labor camps. These actions foreshadowed Hitler’s treatment of the Roma during the World War II Holocaust, in which as many as half a million Roma were deported and massacred by the Nazis. Twenty-three thousand Roma were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, at least 19,000 of whom were murdered there. Those that survived were “redistributed” and to this day remain largely uncompensated by the German government. In Wallachia and Moldavia, Roma were enslaved for five hundred years, not achieving full freedom until 1856.

In earlier centuries, Roma were known for their expertise in professions that could co-exist with an itinerant life: metalworking, basket-making, horse-dealing, hawking, knife grinding, and, of course, as professional entertainers—bear trainers, musicians, card and palm readers. In cultures that historically possessed little written legacy (although this is now rapidly changing), music served the important function of reinforcing and transmitting traditions through generations. Music was a critical strand in the fabric of life. It marked not only important celebrations and holidays, but served as a vehicle to express centuries of bitter experience.

In Hungary, where changing social and political conditions have threatened musical traditions previously handed down from parent to child, the Roma, determined to preserve important elements of their own ways of life, have also succeeded in preserving a larger repertoire in danger of extinction. Ironically—given the history of the Roma—these works of music number among the most recognizable elements, not only of so-called “Gypsy” art, but of Hungarian culture as well. And so, in the face of centuries of effort to oppress and even eradicate the “familiar strangers” in a worldwide diaspora—who today form the largest minority in Europe (as many as twelve million)—the Roma have triumphed through the enduring strength of their culture. It is this very culture that has helped make Hungarian music—including the brilliant and passionate works of the Doppler brothers—known throughout the world and eternally intertwined with its Romani inspirations.
–Sato Moughalian, flutist and Artistic Director, Perspectives Ensemble ©2016

Support for this essay was graciously provided by the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation

Concert Program: Oror/Lullaby April 25, 2015



Cathedral of St. John the Divine
St. James Chapel
1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City

Teni Apelian
Yeraz Markarian
Anaïs Alexandra Tekerian

Perspectives Ensemble:
Sato Moughalian, flute and Artistic Director
Guest artist: Alyssa Reit, harp

We gather together this evening to reflect upon and mourn the nearly one and a half million Armenian lives extinguished in the violent final convulsions of the Ottoman Empire between the years 1915 and 1923—a traumatic series of deportations from ancestral homelands and massacres, known collectively as the Armenian Genocide. Many Greek and Assyrian Christians died as well. Survivors dispersed throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America, and Asia. They carried with them their memories and their songs, precious legacies of an unbreakable culture, passed down from one generation to the next: evocations of village life and nature in the mountains and fields of the Anatolian plain; the passing of seasons; composed pieces and liturgical hymns by revered Armenian composers; and countless expressions of love—the highest value of all. This music offers a window through which we can glimpse the daily lives of our forebears; their storytelling, sense of humor, artisanship, rituals, and their Christian devotion. With music, we weave ourselves in among the long threads that connect our lives with theirs. In music, we remember.

Al Ayloughs – The Red Kerchief
Folk song, Komitas (1869-1935)/arr. Alyssa Reit after Sergei Aslamazian
Lachin u Manan – Lachin, Lachin and Her Spinning Wheel
Folk song from Basen
A young woman named Lachin sits at the spinning wheel combing wool when she hears a knock at the door. It is her suitor and he tells her “Tell your mother to open the door but quietly, so that no one will hear! Lachin gives birth to twins. The same man arrives empty handed, as he has, en route to her house, eaten the two rolls of bread he meant as gifts!
Maratuk – The Mountains of Maratuk
Folk song from Sasun
The melting snows upon the mountain of Maratuk inspire a man to pursue his sweetheart. He mounts his horse, fixes his mustache, and rushes to find her. She wears the traditional colors of the “narod,” the regal wedding ribbons woven with gold that symbolize life and vitality, and is as beautiful as a flower. She is “khorodig” (adorable) and one of a kind.
Habrban – Festive Song
Folk song, Komitas/arr. Reit after Aslamazian
Arentz kez inch ganim? – What could I have done without you?
Sayat-Nova (1712-95)/arr. Reit
Lili Folk song from Sasun
A man climbs his love’s roof to glimpse her in slumber. Come morning he wakes the village girls with his song of love but the one he seeks to summon remains hidden. With half a heart, he makes his way to a wedding, to sing of his woes.
Ororotsayin (Ari Im Sokhag) – Lullaby (Come Hither Nightingale)
Words by Kamar Katiba/Melody by Alexander Spendiarian (1871-1928)
A mother tries to lull her crying son to sleep. She calls to various birds, asking them to leave field, garden, and nest to sing a sweet song that will quiet her child. After calling each bird, the mother exclaims, “But he cries. Do not come. My son does not want to be a recluse – a cleric.” She finally calls upon the brave hawk, and her son falls to sleep to the bird’s songs of resistance.
Miayn Kez – Only You*
Grikor Mirzaian Suni (1876-1939)/arr. Reit
Hov Arek – Give Shade, Dear Mountains
Folk song, Komitas/arr. Reit
Ohrnutiun Bahot – Lenten Blessing
Sharagan – Armenian Liturgical Hymn
Many are Your acts of compassion. Have mercy, God, purger of my sins. By the treachery of the evil one I have sinned against You. Have mercy, God, purger of my sins. At Your second coming, when You come to pass judgment on the earth… have mercy, God, purger of my sins.
Groong – The Crane
Komitas/arr. Reit
Song of the exile: Crane, your voice is my own. I have left my fruits and vineyards. My migrant soul is yours crane, as your voice is my own. Have you no message from our world?
Ur Es Mayr Im – Where Are You My Mother?
Sharagan—Armenian Liturgical Hymn
The lament of Christ during his crucifixion: Where are you my sweet, tender mother? The need for motherly love leaves me burning. My eyes burn with bitter tears. I have no one to wipe them. I asked for a drink of water. The wicked gave me vinegar instead. Where are you, my mother? Come and calm my thirst with your sweet milk.
Garun a – It Is Spring
Folk song, Komitas/arr. Reit
Spring has arrived, and snow has fallen.
Shogher Jan – Dear Shogher
Snow appears beneath the clouds. Shogher hasn’t returned from the mountains. She sways and lilts as she walks. My heart is is burning and I cannot sleep. Come down from the mountains, Shogher, and bring water from the melted snows to calm the fever of my love.
Kele-Kele — Walk, Walk
Folk song, Komitas/arr. Reit
Gakavik – The Partridge
Folk song, Komitas/arr. Reit
Mogats Harsner – The Brides of Moks
Folk song from Van
The villagers of Moks await the arrival of their brides. Their hair, woven with gold thread, cascades like ocean waves. Their dark eyes and their faces are as bright as the mountains and moon. Come out, men of Moks, come out and meet your brides who bring fire and love. The village of Moks will rise again.
Tsolak Jan – Dear Tsolak
Folk song
This song recounts a conversation between a girl named Tsoghik and her sweetheart, named Tsolak. The bird flew out from beneath the clouds. Tsolak and Tsoghig, are happy together. Tsoghik sings of farming, the cloth of Tsolak’s dress and the love in his heart. She sings of her hair blowing in the wind, the roses on her dress and the golden ring that will grace her finger when he who loves her takes her away.
Shushiki Folk dance, Komitas/arr. Reit after Aslamazian
Chinar Es – The Plane Tree
Lullaby, Komitas
You are like a poplar (plane) tree. Don’t bend your head. Ah! My love, don’t stay away from our door. Don’t forget me, even though you are far away.
Tamzara Folk song from Palu, Dikranagert/arr. Zulal/Inna Dudukina/Reit

All the works performed by Zulal are their own original arrangements.
Oror is the Armenian word for lullaby. This program is lovingly dedicated to all those who have “fallen asleep.”

Notes on the Composers
Komitas Vartabed (1869-1935) was the religious name (Vartabed is an Armenian honorific for a celibate priest) of the man born Soghomon Soghomonian in Kutahya, Anatolia (now Turkey), the seat of the famous Ottoman ceramic tradition. Komitas (also spelled Gomidas) was a composer and musicologist who received his training at the Humboldt University in Berlin after his 1895 ordination in Etchmiadzin, Armenia’s religious center. In the early years of his career, he traveled widely, notating, collecting, and analyzing Armenian as well as Kurdish folk pieces. Over 1200 of his transcriptions survive, in some cases providing the few cultural remnants that have passed down to us from isolated Armenian communities within the Ottoman Empire. He is one of the best known Armenian classical composers and set the entire liturgy, a version that survives and is commonly used today. Between 1910 and 1915, Komitas trained a series of concert choirs within the Ottoman Empire and in Europe. Before his time, liturgical music was not performed outside the ecclesiastical setting, but his widely lauded choral performances brought Armenian music, both secular and sacred, to many new audiences in Europe and Asia.
Komitas was in the group of approximately 250 Armenian intellectual leaders arrested and deported from Constantinople on April 24, 1915. Although he was one of the few survivors, he suffered enormously from the trauma of his arrest and imprisonment and withdrew afterwards from public life, spending his remaining years institutionalized in Paris, most likely in a condition we would today call severe “post-traumatic stress syndrome.” However, the supremely important work he did to preserve and create a distinct corpus of sacred and secular Armenian music lives on. For more information:
In the 1960s, Sergei Aslamazian, the founding cellist of the Komitas String Quartet, a Yerevan, Armenia based ensemble that continues to perform today, transcribed a number of the folk tunes collected by Komitas. Some of tonight’s instrumental works derive from Aslamazian’s arrangements.
Sayat-Nova (1712-95), born Harutyan Sayatyan, was an Armenian ashough, or poet-musician who was born in Tiflis (today’s Tblisi) and incorporated multiple languages—Armenian, Persian, Georgian, Azeri—into his prolific and evocatively romantic writings. He served as a composer, poet, and kamancha (a long-necked bowed string instrument with a bulbous body) player at the court of the Georgian King Irakle II. Sayat-Nova was ordained as an Armenian Orthodox priest in 1759. In 1795, while living as a religious at Haghpatavank Monastery in Armenia, he was martyred during an attack by forces under the command of the Iranian shah Mohammed Khan Qajar. Further reading: Sayat-Nova: An 18th Century Troubadour by Charles Dowsett.
Grikor Mirzaian Suni (1876-1939) was born into a musical family, and like Komitas, he was a composer as well as a musicologist who also traveled widely collecting folk songs, beginning around his native region of Shushik. In 1895, he moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he continued his studies for six more years, ultimately studying with Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Suni composed prolifically, writing polyphonic and contrapuntal choral settings of Armenian folk music, songs, orchestral works, operettas, and marches. He had strong egalitarian political beliefs and also composed a large number of workers’ songs. Suni emigrated to the United States and became a naturalized citizen in 1923. Suni’s grandson is the renowned Armenian historian Ronald Grigor Suny. See:, where a number of his works are freely available to download.

In Armenian, Zulal means “clear water.” Zulal, the a cappella trio, takes Armenia’s village folk melodies and weaves intricate arrangements that pay tribute to the rural roots of the music while introducing a sophisticated lyricism and energy. Zulal’s singers, Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian and Anaïs Tekerian have been singing together since 2002. The trio has performed in such esteemed venues as the Getty Museum, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and New York’s Symphony Space, along with performances for Cirque du Soleil and the Silk Road Project. Zulal has scored the film Stone Touch Time and has two critically acclaimed albums to its credit. The trio celebrates the trials and joys of old Armenian village life: Budding romances in elevated gardens, the disappointments of hapless suitors, secret messages placed upon the western winds, the moonlit faces of shepherd boys and their brides… These are the searing impressions of the past that come to life in Zulal’s arrangements, reminders of a simpler past, tokens of comfort in the complex, modern world.

Perspectives Ensemble was founded by its Artistic Director Sato Moughalian in 1993 and creates concerts and recordings that feature works of living and historic composers, shedding new light on their work through explorations of their music in the context of their time and place, consistently receiving the highest critical accolades. Praise from The New York Times includes “first-rate performances by accomplished musicians,” “a superb recital by the Perspectives Ensemble,” and “rhythms were remarkably precise, supple and subtle.” Perspectives Ensemble is in residence at the Foundation for Iberian Music at CUNY.” In 2013, Artistic Director Sato Moughalian was honored with the Catalan Institut Ramon Llull’s Creative Arts Prize in a public ceremony in Andorra. Perspectives Ensemble has been presented in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Lincoln Center, Columbia and New York Universities, the Rubin Museum, Ethical Culture Society, and Morgan Library. It has been a resident ensemble for the Young People’s Chorus of NY’s Transient Glory commissioning program, and for the Miller Theatre’s Pocket Concerto Project and Composer Portraits. Recordings include Sonnets to Orpheus by Richard Danielpour (Sony), Recollections by Karl Husa (New World), and Charles Tomlinson Griffes: Goddess of the Moon (Newport), and most recently, Madrigal: Music of Xavier Montsalvatge (Naxos), which was released in 2013 to glowing international reviews. For more information on Alyssa Reit, including links to purchase her arrangements of Armenian and other works, please visit

Tonight’s performance also marks the release of Perspectives Recording’s CD: Oror/Lullaby—Armenian Music for Flute and Harp, which is available for purchase here tonight and on CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes.

Perspectives Ensemble thanks the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for graciously hosting tonight’s performance, and would like to express gratitude to the Cathedral Administration and staff, particularly Kent Tritle, Anna Lenti, Lisa Schubert, and Isadora Wilkenfeld for their invaluable assistance. We are extraordinarily grateful to Suzanne Larson and Gordon Harris for their sustained support of our mission. We thank our production assistant Shia Cardona, and our volunteers, who have so generously contributed their time and service tonight: Sara Bong, Kathleen Crisci, Douglas Raymond, and Jenisha Watts.

All contributions are gratefully accepted and are tax exempt to the extent of the law. Perspectives Ensemble is a 501(c)3 not for profit corporation in the State of New York and celebrates its 22nd concert season in New York in 2015. Perspectives Ensemble 870 West 181st St. #22 New York, NY 10033 212 923 3657

This concert is made possible through the generous support of the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and Robert & Suzanne Larson in celebration of the life of Danièle Doctorow. Perspectives Ensemble is deeply honored to be the recipient of the 2015 Danièle Doctorow Prize. Additional support is generously provided by the Hegardt Foundation, Gordon Harris, and Perspectives Ensemble’s many friends.

Here is a very small sampling of recently published, widely available books on the history of the Armenian Genocide: “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else” Ronald Grigor Suny; Great Catastrophe Thomas de Waal; The Armenian Genocide Raymond Kévorkian; Confiscation and Destruction Uğur Ümit Üngör and Mehmet Polatel; A Shameful Act Taner Akçam, Recent novels set in the period include: Sandcastle Girls Chris Bojalian and Orhan’s Inheritance Aline Ohanesian.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. It is chartered as a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership. People from many faiths and communities worship together in services held more than 30 times a week; the soup kitchen serves roughly 25,000 meals annually; social service outreach has an increasingly varied roster of programs; the distinguished Cathedral School prepares young students to be future leaders; Adults and Children in Trust, the renowned preschool, afterschool and summer program, offers diverse educational and nurturing experiences; the outstanding Textile Conservation Lab preserves world treasures; concerts, exhibitions, performances and civic gatherings allow conversation, celebration, reflection and remembrance—such is the joyfully busy life of this beloved and venerated Cathedral.