March 2011 Other Minds Salutes Hovhaness Centenary in Berkeley, CA

The centennial of Hovhaness' birth was celebrated in a concert of his piano works presented by Other Minds on 13 March 2011 at First Congregational Church in Berkeley, CA — a place where Hovhaness himself once performed his works. Charles Amirkhanian, Executive and Artistic Director of new music championing organization Other Minds, had invited pianist Sahan Arzruni to play a recital of Hovhaness' works which included two premieres, the composer's 1951 reworking of Yenovk and a 1956 work Laona.

"Alan Hovhaness is one composer whose quality and range of expression are barely realized, and whose voice deserves broader recognition," says Mr. Amirkhanian. "We can't think of a better way to shed light on this long-lived and prolific maverick than to present an afternoon with Sahan Arzruni."

Sahan Arzruni

Mr. Arzruni performed Hovhaness works from four decades and finished with a work by Armenian composer Komitas Vartabed, a composer Hovhaness greatly revered.

  • Achtamar (1947)
  • Lake of Van Sonata (1946, rev. 1959)
  • Mystic Flute (1937)
  • Pastoral No.1 (1952)
  • Yenovk (1946, rev. 1951, revision world premiere)
  • Laona (1956, world premiere)
  • Visionary Landscapes (1967)
  • Suite (1954, rev. 1967)
  • Two Ghazals (1933, rev. 1966)
  • Macedonian Mountain Dance (1937)
  • Komitas: Shoror of Mush
  • Other Minds has made the entire event (including Mr. Arzruni's commentaries on the pieces and reminisicences of Hovhaness) available as both streaming audio and (first half of concert only) video from its extensive online archive.

    Pianist Sahan Arzruni (shaHAHN AHRZroonee) is known not only as a recitalist and chamber musician but as a composer, ethnomusicologist, lecturer, writer, recording artist, broadcast personality, producer and impresario. He continuously researches the musical roots of his Armenian heritage. He has recorded and produced anthologies of Armenian music, delivered papers and organized symposia at such institutions as Harvard, Columbia and the University of Michigan, and contributed articles to academic journals, to The New Grove Dictionary, and to the Dictionary of the Middle Ages. He has recorded for New World Records, CRI, Musical Heritage Society, Hearts of Space, Philips, Varèse-Sarabande, Good Music, Positively Armenian and Kalan Music. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and lives in New York City.

    Founded in 1992, Other Minds Inc. is a leading proponent for new and experimental music in all its forms, bringing together artists and audiences of diverse traditions, generations and cultural backgrounds. By fostering cross-cultural exchange and creative dialogue, and by encouraging exploration of areas in new music seldom touched upon by mainstream music institutions, OM is committed to expanding and reshaping the definition of what constitutes "serious music." From festival concerts, film screenings, and the commissioning of new works, to producing and releasing CDs, to archival preservation of thousands of concerts and composer interviews (which OM streams free of charge on the internet at, OM has become one of the world's major conservators of new music's ecology.

    Relevant Links
    Other Minds Concert

    Arzruni Hovhaness mp3's

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