Ghazaros SaryanThursday, September 10, 2020
Ghazaros (Lazarus) Saryan (30 September 1920 – 27 May 1998) was an Armenian composer and educator.
Ghazaros Saryan was born into a family of distinguished Armenian artists. He is the son of renowned painter Martiros Saryan and the grandson of the prominent writer Ghazaros Aghayan. Musically gifted, Ghazaros attended the Yerevan State Conservatory from 1934 to 1938, where he studied composition with Sargis Barkhudaryan and Vardges Talyan. Afterwards, he travelled to Moscow and enrolled in the composition class of Vissarion Shebalin at the Gnessin State Musical College.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1941, Ghazaros was drafted into the Soviet army and served actively until 1945. Subsequently, he entered the Moscow Conservatory. Among his composition teachers were Dmitri Kabalevsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Anatoly Nikolayevich Alexandrov. Saryan graduated in 1950.
Upon his return to Armenia, Saryan joined the faculty of the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory where he taught orchestration. During 1955-56, he was chairman of the Armenian Composers' Union. In 1960, he was appointed rector of the Conservatory, a position he retained until 1986. Saryan taught composition as well, training such Armenian composers as Tigran Mansurian, Rober Altunyan, Vardan Adjemyan and Ruben Sargsyan.
Ghazaros Saryan was essentially a composer of symphonic oeuvre. He also wrote works for chamber music, as well as several film scores.
Saryan received many awards, including the People's Artist of the Armenian SSR (1983) and the People's Artist of the USSR (1991). For his military service he was decorated with the Red Star Medal.
Saryan's Armenia: Symphonic Panels was performed in 1991 at the Pierre Boulez Contemporary Music Center in Metz, France, and his Passacaglia was presented in 1995 during the Athens Music Festival.
Ghazaros Saryan's manuscripts are deposited at the Martiros Saryan Museum, in Yerevan, Armenia.