Alexander Spendiarian

Conductor, Composer

Alexander Afanasi (Stepanos) Spendiarian (born in Kakhovka (Kherson region, Ukraine), on October 20, 1871).

Composer, conductor, Professor of music, public and cultural figure. People's Artist of the Republic of Armenia (1926). The founder of Symphony Music in Armenia.

Alexander Spendiarian graduated from the Moscow University, Department of Law in 1895. While at the University he mastered violin and played in the student orchestra. He studied theory of composition with N.Klenowsky in Moscow from 1892 to 1894 and with N. Kimsky-Korsakov in St.Petersburg from 1896 to 1900. He lived in Crimea for quite a while, where he was involved in music related activities particularly, conducting.

On May 7, 1928, Mr.Spendiarian moved to Yerevan, Armenia for good. It was a decision of epochal and historic value due to the fact, that at that time the first Armenian Symphony Orchestra was founded and put on the right track, Armenian symphony music was created and further developed, the school of Armenian composition was established and classical music was popularized in Armenia. Alexander Spendiarian played an important role in establishing national school of composition, its artistic principles and characteristic style. He enriched the Armenian music with new artistic concepts, topics, variety of genres, expressive means, creating the foundation of National Armenian symphonism.

Spendiarian's "Crimean Sketches" (two suites composed in 1903 and 1912), "Yerevan Etudes" (1925) and his other symphonic compositions are among the best works in the treasury of the Armenian classical music.

Alexander Spendiarian's contribution to the establishment of the first Armenian Symphony Orchestra, its formation and evolution, the process of extending the orchestra to a full size one, cannot be overestimated. He coached the Armenian symphony orchestra, first together with Arshak Adamian until 1926, and then alone, until he passed away in 1928.