November 2010  Hovhaness Centennial: Seattle To Get Three Orchestral Tributes


As the Hovhaness birth centennial approaches details emerge of major concerts which will pay tribute to him. We are pleased to list below three concerts that will take place during March 2011 - the centennial anniversary month - in the city of Seattle, where the composer resided for the last 30 years of his life, and where he became a well respected local figure in the musical life of America's Northwest.

Concert 1   Hovhaness "100th Birthday" Concert

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:30 pm
S. Mark Taper Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington
Presented by Mrs. Hinako Hovhaness

Prayer of St. Gregory Op. 62b for trumpet and string orchestra

Symphony No.46 To the Green Mountains Op. 347, for orchestra

Rubaiyat Op. 308, for orchestra, narrator, and accordion and based upon the poems of Omar Khayyam

Magnificat Op. 157, for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass soloists, orchestra, and chorus;

The program, chosen by Mrs. Hinako Hovhaness, will be performed by two orchestras: Lake Union Civic Orchestra conducted by Christophe Chagnard, as well as the Central Washington University Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Dr. Nikolas Caoile.

Please CLICK HERE for this concert's press release, issued by Mrs. Hovhaness.

Concert 2   Seattle Symphony Hovhaness Festival

Thursday, March 24, 7:30 pm
S. Mark Taper Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington
Seattle Symphony / Gerard Schwarz conductor

Symphony No. 7 'Nanga Parvat' Op. 178

Prelude and Quadruple Fugue Op. 128

Symphony No. 2 'Mysterious Mountain' Op. 132

Dvorák: Cello Concerto in B minor, with Lynn Harrell solo cellist

Concert 3   Seattle Symphony Hovhaness Festival

Saturday, March 26, 8:00 pm
S. Mark Taper Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington
Seattle Symphony / Gerard Schwarz conductor

Symphony No. 14 'Ararat' Op. 194

Symphony No. 50 'Mount St. Helens' Op. 360

Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, with Lynn Harrell solo cellist



Below is the announcement we have received from the Alan Hovhaness estate for the "100th Birthday" concert, occurring on 8th March 2011, one hundred years to the day of the composer's birth.

For Immediate Release
ALAN HOVHANESS 100th BIRTHDAY CONCERT

A Celebration Concert on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 7:30 pm
at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Washington

I am Hinako Fujihara Hovhaness, wife of Alan Hovhaness. This concert is my birthday present to my husband. He was born on March 8, 1911 in Somerville, Massachusetts, son of Haroutiun Chakmakjian and Madeleine Scott. He was possibly the most prolific of 20th Century American composers. He composed 67 symphonies and his opus numbers totaled 434, but his compositions (including manuscripts) could reach in the thousands. Among them are also concertos, ensembles pieces, piano music, vocal music, choral works (oratorios, anthems, and cantatas) and operas.

He was a true contrapuntal orchestral composer like Handel and Bach but he was versatile, like Mozart. His interest was not just in standard European music, but in different systems of music from other countries, especially Oriental. He went into the study of ancient sources of Armenian, Indian, and Japanese music, etc. and created his own original music, not as an imitation of them. Often music critics noted, "His music meets East with West."

In 1966, he was invited by Vilem Sokol, conductor of the Seattle Youth Symphony, to conduct his own music in their concerts. As a result, Milton Katims, the Seattle Symphony's former conductor, invited him to be Composer-in-Residence with the symphony the following year.

Later, in 1972, he returned to reside in Seattle, the place between two mountain ranges. Here he composed for the rest of his life, under the inspiration of the mountains he loved.

One of his quotations is "Mountains are symbols, like pyramids, of man's attempts to know God. Mountains are a symbolic meeting place between the mundane and spiritual world."

The "100th Birthday" concert program will include some of Hovhaness's most popular compositions:

Prayer of St. Gregory, Op. 62b for trumpet and string orchestra; one of Hovhaness's early pieces; much beloved by many.

Symphony No. 52, Op. 372 "Journey to Vega" for symphony orchestra; never performed before, inspired by Hovhaness's lifelong interest in astronomy.

Rubaiyat, Op. 308 for orchestra, narrator, and accordion and based upon the poems of Omar Khayyam, premiered in 1977 by the NY Philharmonic conducted by Andre Kostelanetz.

Magnificat, Op. 157 for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass soloists, orchestra, and chorus; considered to be Hovhaness's choral masterpiece.

The program will be performed by two orchestras - Lake Union Civic Orchestra conducted by Christophe Chagnard, as well as the Central Washington University Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Dr. Nikolas Caoile. Ticket information is available from Benaroya Hall Ticket Office.

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