Alexander Spendiarov (Spendiarian)
(1871 - 1928)
Alexander Spendiarov (Spendiarian) (1871 - 1928) Alexander Spendiarov (Spendiarian), (November 1, 1871, Kakhovka - May 7, 1928, Yerevan) was an Armenian composer and conductor, People's Artist of Armenia (1926). An apprentice of Klenovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Spendiarov is one of the founders of Armenian classical music (along with Komitas, Chukhajian, etc.), a talented composer, a prominent music and public figure, a youth educator, and a conductor. According to his own words, he drew his creative material from folk tunes, Armenian poetry, literature, history, etc. He combined his loyalty to the traditions of Armenian folk music with the experience of Russian classical music.
Alexander Spendiarov was born on October 20 (November 1), 1871 in the town of Kakhovka. He inherited his musical abilities from his mother, who was good at the piano. Spendiarov's multi-faceted talent manifested itself in early childhood, but the predominant interest in music emerged later. From the age of seven he began to compose, from the age of nine he began to learn to play the piano and violin. In 1890, the young man moved to Moscow, where five years later he graduated from the law department of Moscow University. In 1877-1924 he lived intermittently in Crimea, mainly in Simferopol, Yalta and Sudak.
In 1896, Spendiarov had a decisive meeting with Rimsky-Korsakov, who highly appreciated his compositional talent and introduced him to the circle of St. Petersburg musicians. In the following years Spendiarov created many romances, choral works, vocal works with orchestra, instrumental and orchestral pieces. The latter includes two notebooks "Crimean Sketches"(1903 and 1912) and symphonic painting "Three Palms" (1905). Spendiarov settled in Crimea, occasionally traveling to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tiflis, where he performed as a conductor. He met with the largest figures of Russian culture - A. Chekhov, L. Tolstoy, F. Chaliapin, A. Gorky (on the text of Gorky's poem he wrote a ballad for bass and orchestra "The Fisherman and the Fairy", 1902); Spendiarov established close friendly relations with his teacher N. Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as A. Glazunov.
In his childhood, Spendiarov got acquainted with the folk music of Crimea. Documents show that after the establishment of Soviet power in Crimea, Spendiarov worked on the heroic and patriotic opera "Almast", directed the first amateur choirs and orchestras, participated in the organization of a music school, processed Russian, Ukrainian and other folk songs, including "Varshavyanka", "Boldly, Comrades, In Step" and "Red Banner". For active participation in the construction of a new life Krymrevkom in 1921 issued Spendiarov a certificate of protection. Since the second decade of the XX century, his interest in Armenian art has increased.
In 1922, the government of Soviet Armenia invited Spendiarov to move to Yerevan and lead the musical life of the republic. This period was marked by the heyday of composer, teacher and social-musical activity of Spendiarov. Deeply penetrating into the essence of Armenian folk music, Spendiarov created such outstanding works as "Yerevan Studies" for orchestra (1925) and the "Almast" opera — one of the best creations of the Armenian musical theater. Other works of the composer include “Concert Waltz” (1906) for symphony orchestra, "Bada-preacher" (1907) for voice and orchestra (awarded Glinka).
Spendiarov died in Yerevan on May 7, 1928.