Alexandrapol-Leninakan-Gyumri has long been a city of musical talent. Starting from the middle of the 19th century, most of its bards (gusan) were quite famous in the Caucasus. Jivani, Sheram, Igit, Dvali Mukuch and many others composed their works here.
The combination of different traditions at the beginning of 20th century led to the development of compositional art, which was represented by one of the biggest composers and pianists of the time, Nikoghayos Tigranyan.
The opera “Anush” composed by Armen Tigranyan, became the peak of Alexandrapol’s national and professional musical existence. Further growth in this art form took place during soviet times. At the beginning of 20th century, N. Tigranyan, Gh. Ghazaryan, A. Ter-Ghevondyan, A. Ayvazyan, M. Mazmanyan, E. Saharuni and A. Shishyan composed their works in the city.
In 1924, N. Tigranyan and D. Ghazaryan, composer of “Shushi”, opened a music studio with joint efforts. Beginning in 1934, the music college named after Q. Kara-Murza became a center in Leninakan for educating and shaping those with talent, into professional musicians. Modern-day Gyumri is currently home to eight independent music schools.
This step initiated great celebration of classical music with the “Renaissance” festival taking place in the city: a highly influential aspect of the city’s cultural life.
It is noteworthy to mention that on April 19th, 2013 the 5th international “Renaissance” competition-festival was organized during the framework of the “Gyumri CIS cultural capital” project. This involved 30 countries with 2400 musical performances.