Chitchian, Geghuni Hovannesi
- Svetlana Sarkisyan
(b Leninakan, Aug 30, 1929). Armenian composer. She attended the Tchaikovsky Music School in Yerevan before studying composition with Grigor Yeghiazarian at the Komitas Conservatory (1947–53) where she has taught since 1971. After graduating, she taught at a music school and in 1955 joined the Armenian Composers’ Union. She is the laureate of some 20 competitions held in Armenia and the former Soviet Union; she became an Honoured Representative of the Arts in 1980. Her links to classical Armenian music are evident in her interest in folk melodies and modal harmony, while her connections to contemporary Armenian trends manifest themselves in her alignment to neo-classicism and folkloristic neo-Romanticism. The subtle poetry and cantabile thematicism of her vocal works have been imprinted on her instrumental writing; Bari lujs! (‘Hello Morning!’) follows the example she set in the Concerto for Voice in the balancing of instrumental groups, the use of airy orchestral textures and the chromatic inflection of diatonic modes. She has developed the technique established by Khachaturian involving chains of parallel intervals and chords; in the Violin Concerto the melodic and harmonic structures which are based on the interval of a 4th impart a particular colouristic and psychological significance to the music (similar effects are employed in the Chamber Symphony, the sonatas for trumpet and for viola, and the song cycles). Her choral writing is characterized by rhythmic polyphonic writing, while her music for children – which is frequently reminiscent of Prokofiev’s – combines didactic purpose with picturesque portrayal. The well-known ...