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Alan Hovhaness

A world view was incorporated into the symphonic compositions of Somerville, Massachusetts-born Alan Hovhaness (born: Alan Chakmakjian). While much of his music reflects his Armenian heritage, Hovhaness utilized elements of Indian ragas, Japanese gugaku music and natural sounds. Hovhaness' 1970 composition, "And God Created Great Whales," was composed for a full orchestra and the recorded song of a humpback whale.

Hovhaness began stirring controversy with his music during the 1930s. While many established musicians criticized his compositions, others praised him for his global approach. Although his "Symphony No. 1" was denounced by Leonard Bernstein as "filthy ghetto music", Hovhaness was embraced by such musicians as Leopold Stokowski who conducted the American premiere of his 1936 composition, "The Exile," inspired by the persecution and exile of Armenians in Turkey, and Andre Kostalanetz recorded his 1975 composition, "Rubiyat Of Omar Khayyam."

The son of Armenian and Scottish immigrants, Hovhaness composed his first pieces at the age of four. By the time he reached his teens, he was composing operatic works. As pianist and organist for a local Armenian church, he became known for his skill at improvising on ancient modes. He sharpened his compositional talents through study with Frederick Converse at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and Bohuslav Martinu at Tanglewood.

Hovhaness, who was given his professional name by his high school librettist, was extremely prolific. Although he destroyed many of his early compositions in 1940, the works that survived number in the hundreds. Among Hovhaness' best known compositions are "Lousadzak (The Coming Of Light)," written for piano and strings in 1945, "The Prayer Of Saint Gregory," written for trumpet and symphony orchestra in 1952, and, "Seventeen Prayers," written for oud, lute or guitar and string quartet or string orchestra in 1975. Hovhaness' composition, "Symphony No. 3" has been described as "a tribute to the Mozartian classical sonata form." He died June 21, 2000 at the age of 89. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Comments

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merphd
Joan T: you're correct, and the full bio includes these sentences: In 1942 he received a scholarship to the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he attended composition seminars led by Aaron Copland (assisted by Leonard Bernstein). The experience, unfortunatel y , was less than positive, since both Copland and Bernstein were highly critical of Hovhaness' music. The ridicule he experienced led Hovhaness to leave Tanglewood early. Discouraged, he destroyed many of his early works.
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be_reasonabl e
Yes it works! Be sure to select it ALL including the little link at the bottom which says full bio or it won't work. Then paste it into M. Word or other word processor.
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fafisher46
Here's how to get the full bio: Highlight ALL the bio that's shown on the screen, INCLUDING the full bio link. If you don't get the link, this won't work. Then copy it (CNTL-c) and paste it (CNTL-v) into your favorite word processor. You'll get the whole thing.

THIS REALLY WORKS! (And it is not a chain letter.)
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In case it hasn't been mentioned before, I'd like to ask where the bio is.
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Where the hell is the full bio? Come on Pandora. I pay you money. You sort this out. OK?
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we NEED his bio??? amazing music???
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Another brilliant, uplifting piece by a great composer.
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Where is the bio?
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Somewhere i remember hearing that Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein were so critical of him at a music festival that he left early and tore up all of his compositions to that point. I'd REALLY like to know if that is true
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trevor.jacob s 6
Where is Alan's full biography?
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You can find good info about Hovhaness at wikipedia.or g .
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dswift959
Please fix this!
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The wiki entry Snow Mack left doesn't work now, either . . .
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Pandora always seems to screw up the bios of classical composers. I guess they think classical music is dead, why spend the time?
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Yeah! I always liked his music. Where's the rest of his bio??
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where's the REST of the bio?
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Where is the bio?
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sevag31
I greatly appreciate Pandora for gracing us with beautiful music like this.
Thank you!
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rdevans8
Where is the bio?
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http://en.wi k i p e d i a . o r g / w i k i / A l a n _ H o v h a n e s s
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Where's the full bio?
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rageat311
Woops!
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I noticed the same problem with the bio for Eric Whitacre. The bio notes end in mid sentence on the first page and the link to the full bio takes you to the selected discography with no more bio.
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vlmop77
Where are the rest of his biography notes?

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