1940s Gallery
Post-concert Party, c.1948

Dating from the late 1940s, this photograph was taken at the home of the Ajemian family. Hovhaness is surrounded by a circle of musician friends and supporters, including such future luminaries as John Cage, his partner Merce Cunningham, and record executive George Avakian. Seated center-front is the composer's third wife, Serafina.

A group called The Friends of Armenian Music was set up at this time to help launch Hovhaness's career in New York. It centered around the Ajemian sisters and Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, a friend of Hovhaness's since his Boston days. The sister-duo of pianist Maro Ajemian and violinist Anahid Ajemian gave numerous premieres of Hovhaness music in the 1940s and 50s. Maro alone recorded around 40 works, mainly for MGM (produced by Ed Cole) and a few for Columbia (produced by Anahid's husband, record executive George Avakian). These recordings helped put Hovhaness firmly on the American musical map.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, a lifelong supporter and friend of Hovhaness.

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