Alexander Arutiunian was born on 2 September 1920 in Yerevan, where he received his education (he later completed his training under Genrikh Litinsky in Moscow in the period 1946–48). During the fifty years of his composing career Arutiunian has written a large number of instrumental concertos, rhapsodies, poems for piano, violin and cello, flute, oboe, female voice and orchestra, and also the first Armenian concertos for brass instruments: the trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba. As a result of his interest in brass instruments, he wrote his Armenian Sketches quintet that became a repertory piece. His vocal and orchestral works has strengthened the international acclaim accorded to him. Arutiunian holds titles including Professor of Composition of the Conservatoire of Yerevan, People’s Artist of 1 ashug: a Caucasian folk singer and poet
© 1997 Svetlana Sarkisyan
Great Conductors of the 20th Century is a joint venture between the production and licensing expertise of IMG Artists and the international marketing and distribution clout of EMI. Sixty volumes were planned with hopes for even more. Unfortunately, though, perhaps reflecting our leaner climate for classical projects, the producers now advise that only forty will be issued.
The sound is first class (as the bright-as-a-button Shostakovich overture readily shows at the opening), and the large TV studio in Moscow proves an admirable venue, offering plenty of ambience, while the microphone placing seeks a natural concert hall balance throughout the three programmes. There is brilliance without edge and the recording truthfully reflects the fact that the strings have not quite the body and weight of the finest West European orchestras, but that they do not lack commitment or vitality.[ Gramophone Magazine, February 1988 ]
A brilliant recording of Shostakovich's most famous piano concertos, Festive Overture, and the ballet suite "The Age Of Gold", released by the legendary classical label Naxos. Michael Houstoun (20 October 1952 —) is a concert pianist from New Zealand. He is also known as a patron and juror of musical competitions.
The staying power of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s string quartets rivals that of his symphonies. His quartets are deeply personal works – intensely autobiographical, confessional, intimate, intensely emotional – and among the most insightful works in the quartet repertoire.
He is without doubt one of the greatest conductors of our time, and Volume 1 of his recordings from Brilliant Classics allows the listener to experience the extraordinary genius of Rozhdestvensky over a characteristically wide and varied range of repertoire.