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Alexander Arutyunyan Died on 28 March 2012

The Armenian composer Alexander Arutyunyan is dead. He died on 28 March 2012 at the age of 91.

Arutyunyan completed studies with honours in piano and composition at the conservatory of his home city. From 1946 until 1948 he studied composition with Litinski and instrumentation with Peyko in Moscow. From 1954 onwards he was the artistic director of the Armenian Philharmonic in Yerevan.
Armenian folklore had a lasting influence on his style. Since the 1950s, Arutyunyan led a composition class at the Yerevan Conservatory that was attended by numerous important Russian composers.

His most important work, the Trumpet Concerto, was composed in 1950 in Moscow for the virtuoso Timofei Dokschizer. It was also Dokschizer who contributed the solo cadenza usually played with the Concerto today. In any case, the structure of this Concerto is unusual in that it begins with Andante. The main theme takes shape from this opening in the ensuing Allegro energico in A-flat major, and is immediately followed by a lyrical second theme as is customary in the classical sonata form. Arutyunyan then demonstrates his mastery of polyphonic compositional techniques in an intermediate section. In the "classical" development section, soloist and orchestra are presented in a lively dialogue. Instead of a slow movement, there is an interlude-like Meno mosso, immediately followed by a return to the Tempo primo that is hardly longer in duration. The principle theme complex is once again super-elevated here in the manner of a hymn until the work concludes with the virtuoso solo cadenza. Trumpeters love this piece: the young soloist Lukas Speckmann once even called it a phenomenal playground for virtuoso colleagues.

 

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