Alexander Arutiunian

Biography

Born: September 23, 1920; Yerevan, Armenia   Died: March 28, 2012; Yerevan, Armenia  
Alexander Arutiunian is ranked among the most important Armenian composers in the generation after Aram Khachaturian. His style is quite approachable, and like Khachaturian's, often exotically colorful, exhibiting folk-like Armenian traits, and catchy melodies. But he also employed neo-Classical elements in his works, especially from the 1960s onward. Arutiunian was born on September 23, 1920, in Yerevan. He exhibited musical talent at an early Read more age on the piano and entered Yerevan's Komitas Conservatory while still in his teens. There, he studied piano with O. Babashian and composition with Barkhoudarian and Varkes Talian, graduating in 1941. By then, Arutiunian had decided on a career as a composer: he had joined the U.S.S.R.'s Union of Composers in 1939, but more importantly had already written his first major composition, his piano concerto (1940). While it showed great promise, it was not ultimately a success. For one thing, it appeared at a time when Khachaturian's then-new and masterful piano concerto (1936) was attracting much attention both in the U.S.S.R. and abroad. The war disrupted further education for Arutiunian until 1946, when he enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory and studied composition with Ilya Litinsky, Nikolai Ivanovich Peyko, and Viktor Zuckermann. He left in 1948, offering as his graduation piece a patriotic work, Cantata on the Homeland, for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, an effort for which he received a U.S.S.R. State Prize. This was a difficult time for Soviet composers since they were expected to write stylistically tame music, often on patriotic texts or subjects. Arutiunian composed two of his most successful works in the coming years, the trumpet concerto (1950), written for virtuoso Soviet trumpet player Timofei Dokshitser, and the Concertino for Piano and Orchestra (1951). He also engaged in a collaborative work with a lesser composer -- fellow Armenian Arno Babadjanyan -- an unusually self-effacing gesture even for a young composer. Their effort produced the 1950 Armenian Rhapsody for Pianos (2). In 1954, Arutiunian was appointed artistic director of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he held until he reached age 70 (1990). Arutiunian managed to avoid falling into disfavor with Soviet cultural bosses in the post-Stalin era -- a not necessarily easy task -- composing unadventurous though well-crafted works like his symphony (1957) and horn concerto (1962), the latter achieving some currency in the repertory. In 1960, he was given a government commendation when he was named a People's Artist of Armenia. In 1965, Arutiunian joined the faculty of the Yerevan Conservatory where he taught composition. Two years later, he produced one of his most important compositions, the opera Sayat-Nova. In 1975, he joined the Union of Armenian Cinematographers, Arutiunian having been active over the years in composing several film scores. Two years later, he was given a professorship at the Yerevan Academy. Arutiunian remained active in composition in the 1980s and early '90s, producing a fairly substantial body of work, including his popular quintet for brass, Armenian Scenes, and his tuba concerto (1992). He retired from the artistic directorship of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1990. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 34 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Great Trumpet Concertos / Payne, Hopkins, Melbourne Symphony
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763531 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  William Lovelock,  Henri Tomasi,  Richard Mills,  Alexander Arutiunian  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Payne
    Conductor:  John Hopkins,  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Gorecki: Symphony No. 3; Aruty: Trumpet Concerto
    Label: Audiophile Classics   Catalog: 7702053 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki,  Alexander Arutiunian
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  • 3.
    Popular Trumpet Concertos / Maurice Murphy, Robert Haydon Clark
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1325 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Alexander Arutiunian,  Jeremiah Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice Murphy
    Conductor:  Robert Haydon Clark
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of London
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  • 4.
    Trumpet Concertos / Friedrich, Mueller, Gottinger Symphony
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9011770 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ilya Shakhov,  Alexander Arutiunian,  Oskar Böhme,  Sergei Vasilenko  ... 
    Performer:  Reinhold Friedrich
    Conductor:  Christoph Mueller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Göttingen Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Sergei Nakariakov - Trumpet & Orchestra  [6-CD Set]
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 993672 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  André Jolivet,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Hugh Wolff,  Jörg Faerber,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn  ... 
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  • 6.
    Seraph - Arutiunian, MacMillan, Takemitsu, Zimmermann: Concertos / Alison Balsom
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6785902 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James MacMillan,  Toru Takemitsu,  Alexander Arutiunian,  Bernd Alois Zimmermann  ... 
    Performer:  Alison Balsom
    Conductor:  Lawrence Renes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Apres La Nuit / Philippe Schartz
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10700 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Jolivet,  Aaron Copland,  Paul Hindemith,  Alexander Arutiunian  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Schartz,  Chris Williams,  Sarah-jayne Porsmoguer,  Karen Geoghegan
    Conductor:  Christoph König
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Luxembourg Solistes Europeens
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  • 8.
    Trumpet Panoply
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 769 Release Date: 04/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Arutiunian,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Richard Peaslee
    Conductor:  Anshel Brusilow,  Kirk Trevor,  Clay Couturiaux
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  • 9.
    Brass@ge
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1302 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Etienne Crausaz,  Christophe Sturzenegger,  Allan Stephenson  ... 
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  • 10.
    Russian & Armenian Music For Two Pianos
    Label: Telos   Catalog: 14 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Alexander Tcherepnin,  Alexander Arutiunian
    Performer:  Rolf Plagge,  Wolfgang Manz
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  • 11.
    Armenian Chamber Music / Amici Chamber Ensemble
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2609 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Serouj Kradjian,  Alexander Arutiunian,  Arno Babadjanyan,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amici
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  • 12.
    Slavic Spirit / Romain Leleu,  Julien Lepape
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 911385 Release Date: 02/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Oskar Bohme,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Goedicke  ... 
    Performer:  Romain Leleu,  Julien Lepape
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  • 13.
    Music For Trumpet And Wind Ensemble: Vol III / Syracuse University Wind Ensemble
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 8631 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Alexander Arutiunian,  George Frideric Handel,  John Barnes Chance  ... 
    Performer:  Vinnie Dimartino,  Janet Brown
    Conductor:  John M. Laverty
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syracuse University Wind Ensemble
    CD: $11.99
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  • 14.
    Trumpet Renaissance - Birtwistle, Jost, Roger, Artunian / Schartz
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10562 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Roger,  Christian Jost,  Harrison Birtwistle,  Alexander Arutiunian
    Performer:  Philippe Schartz
    Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    CD: $18.99
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  • 15.
    20th Century Tuba Concertos - Arutiunian, Lundquist, Williams, Vaughan Williams / Baadsvik, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1515 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Arutiunian,  John T. Williams,  Torbjörn Lundquist,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Oystein Baadsvik
    Conductor:  Anne Manson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singapore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Caucasian Impressions - Works For String Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570324 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sulkhan Tsintsadze,  Sergey Aslamazyan,  Sulkhan Nasidze,  Alexander Arutiunian  ... 
    Conductor:  Uwe Berkemer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caucasian Chamber Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Music For Trumpet And Winds  / De Roche, Hagstrom, Et Al
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 848 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrei Petrov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Rafael Mendez,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  John Hagstrom
    Conductor:  Donald DeRoche
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  DePaul University Wind Ensemble
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  • 18.
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 442 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  James Michael David,  Roger Ames,  Chris Theofanidis  ... 
    Performer:  Moffatt Williams
    Conductor:  Robert W. Rumbelow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbus State University Wind Ensemble
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  • 19.
    Great Trumpet Ctos
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 9826976 Release Date: 02/20/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Domenico Cimarosa,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Payne
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  John Hopkins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    The Begian Years Vol 20 / University Of Illinois Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 4890 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Arutiunian,  Carlos Chavez,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alfred Reed  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Symphonic Band
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  • 21.
    Te Deum /  William Picher, Michelle Rego Reatini
    Label: Stemik   Catalog: 5637432525 Release Date: 11/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Picher,  Normand Pepin,  Edward H. Tarr,  Gregory Pascuzzi  ... 
    Performer:  William Picher,  Michelle Rego Reatini
    CD: $24.99
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  • 22.
    Rodney Mack - Spirit Of The Trumpeter
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 552 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugčne Bozza,  Traditional,  Alexander Arutiunian,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Karen Walwyn,  Rodney Mack
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  • 23.
    That's A Plenty! - Sousa, Bernstein, Et Al / Carolina Brass
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 352 Release Date: 01/07/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur R. Frackenpohl,  Traditional,  Jeremiah Clarke,  John Philip Sousa  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Dube,  Bob Campbell,  Timothy Hudson,  John Beck  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Hudson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carolina Brass
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  • 24.
    Arutiunian, Vasks, Bronner: Violin Concertos / Ambartsumian
    Label: Phoenix Usa   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Bronner,  Peteris Vasks,  Alexander Arutiunian
    Performer:  Levon Ambartsumian
    Conductor:  Levon Ambartsumian,  Lewis Nielson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arco Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 25.
    Treasures For Trumpets / Robert Sullivan, James Rensink
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 319 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  James Rensink,  Giacomo Puccini,  Oskar Böhme  ... 
    Performer:  James Rensink,  Robert Sullivan
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