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Arsen S. Sayan (1925-)

Born in Aleppo, Syria, of Daron parentage, Maestro Sayan attended the local Mkhitarist Fathers School and in 1949 graduated from the Seminary of the Cilician Catholicosate of Antelias, Lebanon. Returning to Aleppo he taught Armenian language, history and music in various Armenian national school, was concertmaster of the Aleppo Diocese Mother Church, and organized the Shoghakan Chorus.

Moving to the United States in 1957, Maestro Sayan founded the Knar Armenian Choral Group in 1960, followed by the Ani Armenian Choral Group in 1970. In the interim, (1963-66), Maestro Sayan also studied in the Komitas Conservatory of Music in Yerevan, majoring in choral direction with first-class honors and a dissertation titled “Armenian Religious Music of the Middle Ages.” He retired in 1995 from the U. S. Information Agency, Washington, D. C., after serving for 25 years as musical-cultural director and chief producer of the VoA’s Armenian Service. In 2000, the Knar-Ani joint chorals marked the fiftieth anniversary of Maestro Sayan’s dedicated service to the Armenian musical culture and heritage.