Prolific American composer Alan Hovhaness, of Armenian and Scottish descent, was born Alan Vaness Chakmakjian in Somerville, Massachusetts on 8 March 1911. He was interested in music when very young, and wrote his first composition aged four.
Significant influences were astronomy (an early fascination), Sibelius (who he befriended) and the music of Armenia and India.
Hovhaness died on 21 June 2000, leaving more than five hundred works, including at least sixty-seven symphonies.
A selection of M&V articles about Alan Hovhaness
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Enthralling - Music for brass and organ, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Barbara Bruns and the Thompson Brass Ensemble give dazzling performances full of compelling virtuosity and brilliantly executed musical stunts that never fail to surprise ...'
CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Orchestral music by Alan Hovhaness, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... an almost trance-like mysticism and beauty ...'
CD Spotlight. Natural Habitats? - Orchestral music by Alan Hovhaness, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the whole team under Stewart Robertson gives of their best ...'
Record Box. Curious and Evocative - Quarter-tone keyboard music played by Joshua Pierce, reviewed by Patric Standford