2006: Hovhaness 95th Birthday Year Celebrations

A series of concerts celebrating what would have been Hovhaness’ 95th birthday year, is planned in Yerevan, Armenia.

The first concert was given on 4 March by the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia at Komitas Chamber Music Hall. The orchestra performed Hovhaness’ Lousadzak for piano and strings (with internationally renowned pianist Sahan Arzruni) and Alleluia and Fugue for strings, the latter work receiving its Armenian premiere. The conductor of NCOA, Mr. Aram Gharabekian, had a surprise gift for Mr. Alexan Zakyan, the original honorary doctorate awarded to Hovhaness in 1987 by the Boston Conservatory of Music. The composer received five honorary doctorates in all.

Aram Gharabekian (right) presents the original honorary doctorate awarded to Hovhaness by the Boston Conservatory of Music, as a donation to a planned Hovhaness collection in Yerevan.

The famous Armenian conductor Ohan Durian had his own surprise, performing Hovhaness’ song Ararat together with soprano Artsvik Demurchian.

This year the Armenian Philharmonic and State Academic Choir of Armenia plan to celebrate Hovhaness’ 95th birthday concert on November 24 at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. Hovhaness was himself born and raised an American, however his father was originally from Armenia before taking American citizenship.