Hovhaness, Alan

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Hovhaness, Alan

(hōvhä`nəs), 1911–2000, American composer, b. Somerville, Mass., as Alan Vaness Chakmakjian. Hovhaness was of Armenian and Scottish descent, and many of his works are based on Armenian culture or show influences from Middle Eastern, Asian, or early European music. Inspired by nature and Christian mysticism, he was also interested in unusual sonorities, rejecting the harmonic complexities of much modern music in favor of melody, clarity, simplicity, and an encompassing musical atmosphere. Hovhaness was enormously prolific; although he destroyed many compositions in 1940, his extant works number about 500, including 67 symphonies. Among his works are Lousadzak [coming of light] (1945), for piano and strings; the widely played Second Symphony, subtitled Mysterious Mountain (1955); the symphonic poem Floating World–Ukiyo (1965); And God Created Great Whales (1970), for orchestra and recorded whalesong; and Mt. Katahdin (1987), a piano sonata.

Hovhaness, Alan (b. Chakmajian)

(1911–  ) composer; born in Somerville, Mass. Of Scottish as well as Armenian descent, he showed an early interest in both composing and mysticism. He studied at the New England Conservatory in the 1920s and added an awareness of the music of India to that of his Armenian heritage; later he would spend time in Asia and add yet another strand to his own often exotic compositions. Legendarily prolific, usually working with commissions or grants, he went through several periods or styles but most of his work has a religious element and is mellifluous if distinctive.
References in periodicals archive ?
His national premiere performances include Lutoslawski's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in Ukraine with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Odessa and in Greece with the Orchestra of Colours, Szymanowski's Concertante Symphony for Piano and Orchestra with the State Orchestra of Athens, Alan Hovhaness' Lousatzak Concerto, Beethoven's Concerto WoO4 and Philippos Tsalachouris' Second Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Greek String Orchestra Camerata, and Tassos Rosopoulos' Concerto for Piano, Guitar and Orchestra.
Most of the Boston Classicists (Paine, Foote, Parker, Chadwick), works of Copland and Thomson, the American mystic Alan Hovhaness, Howard Hanson, Leo Sowerby, and two prominent Jewish composers, Samuel Adler and Robert Starer, along with numerous others, were sadly neglected by choirs.
The intermediate-level piano collection features 41 works by nine composers: Denes Agay, George Antheil, Samuel Barber, Paul Creston, David Diamond, William Gillock, Morton Gould, Alan Hovhaness and Robert Muczynski.
The grand finale, with 20 orchestra players crammed onto the floor, was a gem of a symphony written by Armenian American Alan Hovhaness - his 10th out of 67 such works, completed in 1956.
John Cage, Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, Aram Khachaturian, and Lou Harrison are all represented here.
Long a supporter of the State of the Arts series, Dorsey sensitively played works by Alan Hovhaness and Franz Liszt to resounding applause from the audience, which included many of his colleagues and friends.
After emigrating to the United States in 1941, Glanville-Hicks initially produced works under the influence of neoclassicism, but in the late 1940s she was drawn to the work of such American composers as Colin McPhee, Alan Hovhaness, Lou Harrison, and Paul Bowles, who were turning to non-Western musics for inspiration.
Topics addressed include historical memory and the contemporary literature of Armenia; reflections of the genocide in the works of Armenian-American writers, Soviet literature, and even in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake; the films of Atom Egoyan and Tina Bastajian; the music of Chares Aznavour and Alan Hovhaness; the presence of the Armenian Genocide on the World Wide Web; comparative portrayals of other victims of Turkish nationalism; linkages between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust; and treatments of the events of 1915 in Turkish historiography.
Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000) was one of the last of the Romantics, a composer who still believed that music should be enjoyed for its melodies, its harmonies, its sheer beauty of expression rather than any radical experimentation.
The program includes music by Charles Ives, Alan Hovhaness, Joseph Schwantner and Igor Stravinsky's famous "L'Histoire du Soldat." The 100th Monkey Ensemble is a consortium of professional musicians and composers specializing in the performance of 20th and 21st century chamber music.