Avet Terterian

Internet Edition compiled by Onno van Rijen

Updated 4 October 2008


Born

29 July 1929 in Baku, Azerbaijan; died 11 December 1994 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Biography

Armenian composer and pianist. He had his first lessons of music when he was six years old. From 1948 to 1951 he visited the Advanced College of Music in Baku, and from 1951 to 1952 the College of Music in Yerevan. From 1952 to 1957 he studied with Edvard Mirzoyan at the Yerevan Conservatory, where he in 1957 was appointed to the staff (as a teacher of music theory until 1959). From 1963 to 1967 he conducted his 'aspirantura' with Mirzoyan. Since 1970 Terteryan has worked as a teacher of instrumentation at the Yerevan Conservatory, since 1978 as a lecturer and 1983 as a professor.
Member of the Composers' Union of Armenia; several activities at the service of the Armenian Ministry of Culture; Merited Artist of the Armenian SSR (1972); State Prize of the Armenian SSR (1977).

Style

His confidently written music is formed in a synthetic manner from diverse materials: Armenian 'sharakan'(hymns), free 12-tone music, aleatoric devices and Xenakis-like blocks, sometimes including parts for non-tempered folk instruments.

Works

Piece for cello and piano (1954)
Dedicated to M. Abramyan.
Duration: 6 minutes.
First performance: 1960 by M. Abramyan (violoncello) and R. Tandilyan (piano).
Sonata for cello and piano (1955)
1. Andante
2. Adagio
3. Presto
Duration: 21 minutes.
First performance: 1956 in Yerevan by Y. Yedigaryan (cello) and R. Tandilyan (piano).
"The Motherland", vocal-symphonic cycle No. 1 for soprano, baritone and orchestra (1957)
1. Fly with Me into the Distance 2. Hey, you Birds from Distant Hights, Where Are You? 3. If I would have Fallen for my Country ... 4. Worlds Turn to Ashes 5. My Country Shall Bloom as in Springtime ... Lyrics by Hovhannes Shiraz.
Dedicated to Edvard Mirzoyan. Armenian texts by O. Shiraz (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5) and O. Tumanyan (No. 4).
Russian translation by E. Alexandrova.
Duration: 18 minutes.
First performance: 8 May 1959 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, A. Katanyan (conductor), I. Aidinyan (soprano), M. Yerkat (baritone).
"The Revolution", vocal-symphonic cycle No. 2 for soprano, baritone and orchestra (1960)
Lyrics by Yeghishe Charents (in Armenian).
Withdrawn.
Parts of the work were recycled in the opera “The Ring of Fire” (1967/1977).
Duration: 15 minutes.
First performance: 13 October 1960 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, V. Aivazyan (conductor), I. Aidinyan (soprano), M. Yerkat (baritone).
String Quartet No. 1 in C major (1962)
Dedicated to Irina Tigranova.
Movements:
1. Tranquillo molto
2. Presto
Duration: 23 minutes.
First performance: 15 October 1964 in Yerevan by Y. Voskanyan and Z. Saakyants (violin), S. Khachatryan (viola), D. Gevorkyan (cello)
Poem for violoncello and piano (1964)

"The Ring of Fire", opera in two acts and eight scenes (1967, second version: 1977)

After Boris Lavrenyov's story.
Lyrics by Yeghishe Charents.
Libretto by Vladimir Shahnazaryan.
Revised version: 1977.
Duration: 80 minutes.
First performance: 2 December 1967 in Yerevan with G. Terterian (conductor).
First performance of the revised version (“Vehement Crowds Surged Towards the Sun”): 10 December 1977 in Yerevan with A. Katanyan (conductor).

LP Mekodiya C10 13707-10: TV and All-Union Radio Large Chorus and Orchestra, H. Terterian (cond)

"Sharakan" for mixed choir and orchestra (1967)
Fragment from “The Ring of Fire”.
Duration: 5 minutes.
Symphony No. 1 in four movements (1969)
For brass, percussion, piano, organ and bass guitar.
Dedicatetd to Ruben Borisovich Terterian.
Duration: 27 minutes. First performance: 25 November 1969 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, David Khadzyan (conductor)
Incidental Music to "Seven Stations" (1971)
Composition in two parts based on Sylvia Kaputikyan’s poetry.
First performance: 30 March 1971 in Yerevan with R. Kaplanyan (director/designer).
Richard III, music from “The Ring of Fire” (1972)
Tragedy by William Shakespeare.
Armenian translation by K. Dashtets.
First performance: 2 September 1972 in Yerevan with R. Kaplanyan (director/designer).
Symphony No. 2 in three movements (1972)
For male voices, mixed choir, and orchestra.
Text: vocalises.
Dedicated to Carmen Iosifovna Terterian.
Duration: 25 minutes.
First performance: 19 May 1974 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, David Khadzyan (conductor), K. Chalikyan (soloist).
Incidental Music to "Legend opf a Ruined City (Arshak II) (1975)
Tragedy in two parts by P. Zeituntsyan.
First performance: 15 March 1975 in Yerevan with R. Kaplanyan (director/designer).
Symphony No. 3 in three movements (1975)
For large orchestra, duduks and zurnas.
Dedicated to German Rubenovich Terterian.
Duration: 26 minutes.
First performance: 19 September 1975 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, David Khadzyan (conductor), D. Gasparyan and G. Grigoryan (duduks and zurnas).

CD ASV CD DCA 986: Armenian PO, L. Tjeknavorian (cond)
CD Arte Nova 74321 82556 2: Dresdner SO, M. Helmrath (cond)

Symphony No. 4 in one movement (1976)
For large orchestra (available in a measured and in a measureless version).
Dedicated to David Khandzyan.
Duration: 30 minutes.
First performance: 19 November 1976 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, David Khadzyan (conductor)

LP Melodiya C10 19949: USSR Ministry of Culture SO, G. Rozhdestvensky (cond)
CD ASV CD DCA 986: Armenian PO, L. Tjeknavorian (cond)

"Hymn to October", cantata for mixed chorus and orchestra (1977)
Armenian text by Gevorg Emin.
Russian translation by M. Lapisova.
Duration: 7 minutes.
First performance (without chorus): 5 November 1977 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, David Kandzyan (conductor).
"Monologues of Richard III", ballet after William Shakespeare (1977-1979)
Libretto by V. Galsthan.
Duration: 90 minutes.
Symphony No. 5 in one movement (1978)
For large orchestra, kyamancha, zurna and burvar.
Dedicated to Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.
Duration: 30 minutes.
First performance: 11 November 1980 in Halle by the Orchestra of the International Handel Festival, Christian Kluttig (conductor), G. Muradyan (kyamancha).

LP Melodiya C10 19949: USSR Ministry of Culture SO, G. Rozhdestvensky (cond)

Symphony No. 6 in one movement (1981)
For chamber orchestra, mixed choir, and tapes.
Dedicated to Irina Tigranova.
Duration: 35 minutes.,BR> First performance: 25 April 1983 in Zagreb by the Bolshoi Theatre Soloists’ Ensemble, Alexander Lazarev (conductor)
"The Earthquake in Chile", opera (1986)
Opera in two parts and seven scenes after Heinrich von Kleist’s novel “Das Erdbeben in Chili” by Gerta Stecher and Avet Terterian.
Duration: 120 minutes.
First performance: 16 March 2003 in Munich by the Orchestra of the Gärtnerplatz Theatre, Ekkehard Klemm (conductor), Ruth Ingeborg Ohlmann (She), Wolfgang Schwaninger (Er), Michael Gann (Herald), Florian Simson (Prelate), Adam Sanchez (Cantus I), Gary L. Martin (Cantus II), Robert Bruins (Cantus III), Johannes Beck (Cantus IV), Barbara Schmidt-Gaden (Shepherd).
Symphony No. 7 in one movement (1987)
For large orchestra and tape.
Dedicated to Alexander Lazarev.
Duration: 28 minutes.
First performance: 29 May 1987 in Yerevan by the Armenian Symphony Orchestra, Martin Nersesyan (conductor)

CD Megadisc MDC 7826: Ural PO, D. Liss (cond)

Symphony No. 8 in one movement (1989)
For large orchestra, two sopranos and tape.
Dedicated to Murad Annamamedov.
Duration: 30 minutes.
First performance: 21 December 1989 in Saratov by the Saratov Symphony Orchestra, Murad Annamamedov (conductor)

CD Megadisc MDC 7826: Ural PO, D. Liss (cond)

String Quartet No. 2 in one movement (1991)
Commissioned by the Cronos Quartet.
Duration: 25 minutes.
First performance: 22 April 1994 in Ekaterinburg by the Bach String Quartet.
Symphony No. 9 (in progress at the time of his death) (1994)


Thanks to Robert Avak


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