Soghomon Gevorki Soghomonyan - Komitas Vardapet ("Սողոմոն Գևորգի Սողոմոնյան" - "Կոմիտաս Վարդապետ" in Armenian), by Western Armenian transliteration also Gomidas Vartabed, born on September 26 or October 8 (see discussion) 1869 in Kütahya, Ottoman Empire, died on October 22, 1935 in Paris, France, was an Armenian priest, composer, choir leader, singer, music ethnologist, music pedagogue and musicologist. Many regard him as the founder of modern Armenian classical music.
Soghomon (Gevorki) Soghomonyan was born into a family whose members were deeply involved in music and were monolingual in Turkish. His mother died when he was one and ten years later his father also died. His grandmother looked after him until 1881 when a prelate of the local Armenian diocese went to Echmiadzin to be consecrated a bishop. The catholicos Gevork IV ordered him to bring one orphaned child to be educated at the Echmiadzin Seminary. Soghomon was chosen among 20 candidates and entered the seminary (where he impressed the catholicos with his singing talent) and finished it in 1893 when he became a monk. According to church tradition, newly ordained priests are given new names, and Soghomon was renamed Komitas (named after a 7th century Armenian catholicos who was also a hymn writer). Two years later he became a priest and obtained the title Vardapet (or Vartabed), meaning a priest or a church scholar.