Alexander Spendiaryan

Alexander Spendiaryan (Armenian: Ալեքսանդր Սպենդիարյան, Russian: Александр Афанасьевич Спендиаров, November 1,Kakhovka, Ukraine (then in USSR) 1871 –May 7, 1928 ) was an Armenian music composer, conductor, founder of Armenian national symphonic music and one of the patriarchs of Armenian classical music. His compositions include the opera Almast and the Yerevan Etudes among others. He studied with the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who greatly admired his music and encouraged him to turn deeper into his people's folklore.

On December 10, 1924, Spendiarian, newly arrived in Yerevan from Russia, conducted an 18-member orchestra consisting of conservatory professors and students. This inaugural concert proved that Armenia had the potential to sustain a symphony orchestra. The following year, on March 20, 1925, Professor Arshak Adamian, Rector of the Yerevan Conservatory, led the first concert of the then newly founded symphony orchestra. At the time, Spendiarian accurately predicted,

“There will come a time, when our yet modest student orchestra will proudly bear the honorary title of the Armenian State Orchestra.”

Spendiaryan died in Yerevan in 1928.

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