The Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory (YSC) was founded in 1921 as a Music Studio that was two years later granted a status of higher musical education institution.
The Conservatory was founded and led by the brilliant composer and conductor, Saint Petersburg Conservatory graduate Romanos Melikyan.
In the conditions of lack of well-trained specialists in the newly formed Soviet Armenian republic, most of the conservatory courses were taught by professors invited from Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In one year, a choir and a string quartet were formed in the Music Studio; after four years, the Conservatory had its symphony orchestra, after six years – an opera performance class, and after eleven years – an Opera Theater (conservatory-based.) The Conservatory is still playing its unique role in providing the Armenian musical institutions with well-trained specialists, orchestra and ensemble players.
The 90-years-long activity of the teaching staff of the Yerevan Conservatory is the basis of its achievements. Today the YSC has 150 professors, of which 5 have Doctor of Arts degree, and many others – PhD degree, as well as associate professors, lecturers and assistant lecturers, many of whom are international competitions’ prizewinners. Also some conservatory students are awarded with prizes at international and national competitions.
YSC has a permanent student symphony orchestra, chamber and folk music orchestras, several different choirs including a folk music choir, and different chamber ensembles.
The Big Hall of the Conservatory with its theater stage is at the disposal of the Opera Studio. The Opera Studio staff consisting of tutors, students, stagers, conductors, orchestra musicians and choir singers undertakes opera staging. All the roles in these operas are being performed by the students.
The Conservatory has two smaller concert halls being used for the academic evenings, recitals, group and faculty concerts, jubilee events, annual sessions of the Student Scientific Society, as well as the Student Council meetings. Famous musicians from different countries hold master-classes in these halls.
More than one thousand students currently study at the YSC. The Student Council is a self-governing body inside the YSC. It consists of students of different ages, faculties and departments.
The Foreign Students Department of the YSC exists since 1950-ies. The YSC had many foreign students coming not only from former Soviet republics and neighboring countries (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Iran), but also from China, Syria, Lebanon etc. The fame of the YSC attracts students from Europe (France, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus) and America (Canada, USA.)
The Yerevan State Conservatory appears as a higher musical education institution having its unique image and national style; it plays its important role in Armenian music and Armenian art in general. The organic integration of the national tradition into the international cultural field and synthesis of local musical culture and world music heritage are major trends of the development of the Yerevan State Conservatory.
Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory has 3 following faculties: Piano, Orchestra and Vocal-Theoretical.
The Piano Faculty includes following departments: special Piano and Organ, Basic Piano, Accompaniment, History and Theory of the Piano Performance. The Piano Faculty graduates get qualifications of soloists, ensemble performers, accompanists and pedagogues.
The Orchestra Faculty includes following departments: String Instruments, Wind and Percussion Instruments, Military Conducting, Chamber Ensemble and String Quartet. The Orchestra Faculty graduates get qualifications of soloists, ensemble performers, accompanists and pedagogues.
The Vocal-Theoretical Faculty is the largest one both in the number of students and in variety of departments. These include: Solo Singing, Opera, Composition, Choir and Symphony Conducting, Folk Instruments and Folk Singing, Armenian Folklore Studies, Theory of Music, History of Music, Jazz and Pop Music, Foreign Languages and Social Science departments. The graduates get qualifications in their special fields, as well as these of researchers and pedagogues.
To enter the Conservatory, foreign applicants have to pass the exam in their specialty, as well as interview in solfeggio and harmony (or elementary theory of music.)
The Conservatory provides no accommodation.
Besides of the scholarship provided for the best students whose studying expenses are being paid by the State, additional scholarships (including “Komitas”, “Aram Khachatourian”, “Sayat-Nova”, “Gohar Gasparyan” and “Edvard Mirzoyan” scholarships) may be granted to the most advanced students. Those students who show excellent achievements for the long period of time are being supported by the foreign sponsors through either single-time grants or long-term donations.