Arutiunian, Aleksandr Grigori
- Svetlana Sarkisyan
(b Yerevan, Sept 23, 1920; d Yerevan, March 28, 2012). Armenian composer and pianist. At the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan he studied composition (with Barkhudaryan and Tal′yan) and the piano (with O. Babasyan), graduating in 1941. He continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Litinsky, Peyko and Zuckermann (1946–8). He was artistic director of the Armenian Philharmonic Society between 1954 and 1990. He began to teach composition at the Yerevan Conservatory in 1965, and was appointed to a professorship in 1977. He joined the Union of Composers in 1939 and the Union of Cinematographers of Armenia in 1975. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1949 for his graduation work Kautat hayreinki masin (‘Cantata on the Homeland’), and was made a People’s Artist of Armenia in 1960. He received numerous awards in Armenia, the USA and elsewhere.
The development in the late 1940s of Arutiunian’s artistic perception, with its dualism between Classical and Romantic elements, coincided with the development of vitalist trends in Soviet art of the postwar period. Arutiunian’s individual response to vitalism involved a spontaneous and improvisatory approach which drew on Armenia’s cultural heritage, revealing the immanent potential of the national melodic style and the energy of its rhythms. Elements of vitalism also conditioned other aspects of Arutiunian’s music: his preservation of Classical sequences of contrasting movements and his use of Baroque forms and genres, especially suites and concertos. The concertante principle influences not only his concertos and other orchestral and chamber works, but also the opera ...