Celebrating Armenian
Music and Culture

The Armenian Music Program at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music provides an in-depth exploration of Armenia’s rich musical heritage, with a focus on its classical traditions. A hallmark of the school’s innovative leadership in music and its commitment to public outreach, through dynamic performances and academic scholarship, the program has evolved into a vibrant educational platform.

View Our Performances & Mini Documentaries, Here
View Our Performances & Mini Documentaries, Here
View Our Performances & Mini Documentaries, Here

The mission of the Armenian Music Program is to preserve and celebrate Armenian music as an art form. Established in 2013, the Program has presented dozens of outreach performances as well as high-profile public concerts and recordings⁠—including Grammy-nominated Armenian Requiem by Ian Krouse—provided over 30 student scholarships, and built a devoted community of supporters and fans. This Program engages communities of musicians, scholars, and audience members across the UCLA campus, Los Angeles, nationally, and internationally.

Recent and Upcoming Events

"Victims" and "Executioners" of the Stalin Era Repressions

UCLA International Institute | November 9, 2022
Watch Recording Here.

Chew on This Presents Natalie Kamajian, on the Politics of Remembering and Forgetting, Dancing Armenian Yarkhushta During Wartime

Kaufman Hall 160 | November 15, 2022 @ 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Watch on Zoom

Naghash Ensemble Performance

Schoenberg Hall | March 2 2023 @ 8 PM
Register via Eventbrite

VEM Ensemble Tours USA + ARMENIA

Armenia | March 2023
East Coast | May 2023


Resonances: Music of Armenia
Day of Armenian Music at UCLA

Schoenberg Hall and Courtyard | May 2023

Revisit the 2021 “Day of Armenian Music” Concert

Our Achievements
Our Achievements

Explore all recordings here

Following its lauded recent performances in Yerevan, Armenia, the UCLA VEM Ensemble is featured in the newly released CD of Armenian Music, “Modulation Necklace,” by the Naxos-distributed label, New Focus Recordings. Celebrating the aesthetic diversity of the post-Soviet era Armenian music, the CD highlights a selection of works from distinguished contemporary Armenian composers Artur Avanesov, Ashot Zohrabyan, Michel Petrossian, and Artashes and Ashot Kartalyan. Along with the VEM Ensemble, Modulation Necklace also features internationally renowned musicians Scott St. John, Antonio Lysy, Varty Manouelian, Movses Pogossian, Katisse Buckingham, Dustin Donahue, as well as UCLA alumni Charles Tyler and Niall Ferguson.

Dan Lippel, President of New Focus Recordings, praised the album. “Violinist Movses Pogossian has assembled this illuminating collection of contemporary music from Armenia…revealing a vibrant repertoire whose aesthetics are as outward-looking as they are grounded in their reverence of centuries-old culture.” Highlighting the best of contemporary Armenian Composers, “Modulation Necklace” is a true celebration of Armenian music as an art form and a testament to the rich history and heritage which it tributes. The UCLA VEM ensemble’s participation in the album is a significant achievement, which upholds the noble mission of the Armenian Music Program.

Proceeds of this CD will benefit the UCLA Armenian Music Program.
The CD is available on Amazon and Apple Music.

Newsletter: Modulation Necklace

A Day of Armenian Music
Nine years ago, the Armenian Music Program was started with a single student ensemble-in-residence. On Tuesday, May 31 at 12:00 pm, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will host A Day of Armenian Music – Music of Connections. The concert will feature two student ensembles, world-renowned artists, workshops and Armenian music in classical, folk and jazz
Professor Melissa Bilal Joins Armenian Music Program as Its Full-Time Associate Director
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Melissa Bilal, an internationally recognized ethnomusicologist, sociocultural anthropologist, and social historian, as the full-time Associate Director of the Armenian Music Program.
Armenian Chamber Music album was co-conceived by School of Music Professor Movses Pogossian
A new album of contemporary chamber music might never have come into existence without SOM professor Movses Pogossian. Recorded on the UCLA campus, the album, Con Anima, is also among a select number of projects that the record label, Edition of Contemporary Music, has produced outside of Europe.

About Us

Movses Pogossian
Distinguished Professor, Director of Armenian Music Program
Melissa Bilal
Associate Director of Armenian Music Program and Lecturer
Armen Adamian
Instructor of Armenian Music Ensemble
Irene Baghdasaryan
Music Outreach & Media Coordinator
Natalie Kamajian
Instructor of Beginning Armenian Dance; Ph.D. Student in Culture and Performance

Community Outreach Partners and Learning Resources

With a mission to engage the community and expand the reach of Armenian music, this program relies on partners at UCLA and beyond. The following partners help this program reach a larger audience and provide philanthropic resources that support this program’s ongoing activities:

Support the program and keep the music playing