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Vache Sharafyan
Vache Sharafyan

with Yuri Bashmet, premiere of "Surgite Gloriae"

with Yo-Yo Ma, after the premiere of "morning scent of acacias' song"

You hear now Vache Sharafyan: "Adumbrations of the Peacock" for violin, viola, cello & piano (extract), Apple Hill Chamber Players, Zipper Hall, LA

...use of harmonic clusters colors Vache Sharafyan's Suite, which with its ingenious allusions to the harmonic patterns and dance forms of the Baroque travels through a kaleidoscope of iridescent timbres...

Equally enthralling is Sharafyan's arrangement of Komitas's Krunk (Crane) for duduk, piano and cello. As in the Suite, tonally conventional elements co-exist with the oscillating pitches and clusters of Sharafyan's harmonic language to magical effect.

By STEVE SMITH December 19, 2011 (after the concert played by Colin Jacobsen, Nick Cords, Edward Arron, Andrew Armstrong at Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York)

.... And all of the string players confidently handled unconventional intonation in Mr. Sharafyan's Adumbrations of the Peacock, a stark, mysterious and ultimately majestic concatenation of broken-bell piano chords, tremulous melodies and quivering textures.

THE BOSTON GLOBE In season finale, BMOP charts the Armenian experience; by By Matthew Guerrieri Globe Correspondent / May 27, 2008
Vache Sharafyan's "Sinfonia No. 2 un poco concertante," a BMOP commission and world premiere, takes that essence as its starting point. Melodies erupt into dense, slow-shifting harmonic clouds; a repetitive figure builds into crashing waves of multitudinous, Ivesian dissonance. A solo duduk, the Armenian folk oboe (pre-recorded for this concert), spins periodic arabesques, the instrument's microtonal inflections transmuted in the orchestra. Sharafyan creates complex, deliberate, ultimately captivating grandeur - artistic director Gil Rose led a terrific, vivid performance.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE Music review, The Silk Road Ensemble at Chicago Orchestra Hall
Wednesday, December 18, 2002, by John von Rhein,
..."But the most wonderful piece on the program was "The Sun, the Wine, and the Wind of Time" (1998) by the Armenian composer Vache Sharafyan. The score derived much of its ineffable sadness from the duduk, an oboe-like instrument whose quivery, throaty sounds were framed by piano (Joel Fan), violin (Colin Jacobsen) and cello (Yo-Yo Ma). The seamless evolution of moods and texture, from soft, somber lines made up of pained intervals, to more violent outbursts, back to mournful lines, made it entirely absorbing to the ear and mind..."

PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE Music Review: New music group attains world-premiere nirvana
Monday, August 05, 2002 by David diAngelo,
..."The evening's gem, though, was the Sharafyan. Without overtly referencing Vivaldi, this "Four Seasons" uses the calendar year as a metaphor for a circle of life. It began with "Summer" (with the performers bathed in harsh red lights) and cycled through death in "Winter" and rebirth in "Spring....

Vache Sharafyan's "The Four Seasons" was the significant world premiere, including Armenian poetry as a prelude to each of the four movements Sharafyan's language includes remarkable solo writing ... The composer is not afraid of dissonance, and the furious intensity he achieves serves clear narrative intent, including real satisfaction. "The Four Seasons" required extra performers, including the first Pittsburgh residents to play with the group this season: violist Paul Silver and bassist John Moore from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and percussionist P.J. Gatch.

SALISBURY JOURNAL, REVIEW: The Hilliard Ensemble, 29th May 2013, by Sarah Collins
In the second half, the penultimate work by Vache Sharafyan had such an intensely spiritual quality, one could almost imagine the Hilliards wearing robes and living in a closed order while singing their sublime music.

                              Sharafyan's Music on YouTube, Vimeo (follow the links bellow)

Sharafyan "Sound of Stone" with visual art by Kevork Mourad. Metropolitan Museum of Arts commission, NY

Sharafyan- Cello Concerto 2, Suren Bagratuni, Cello+ festival orchestra, cond. Leon Gregorian

Sharafyan Surgite Gloriae Viola Concerto , Matthias Worm, Carl Thiemt, Araik Bartikian, Dresden Symphony, cond. Andrea Molino

Sharafyan: Viola Concerto "Surgiet Gloriae" with Yuri Bashmet & Moscow Soloists FULL VERSION With Bashmet's Interview

Sharafyan "Requiem for the Desert"

Sharafyan: "My Lofty Moon", Atlas Ensemble cond. Ed Spanjaard, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, 23. 01. 2007

Sharafyan: <Sun, Wine & Wind of Time> with Gevorg Dabaghyan, Colin Jacobsen, Yo-Yo Ma, Joel Fan

Sharafyan: <Canticum Dolorosum et Pacificum> with A. Demurchyan, Hover choir, Serenade chamber orchestra, cond. E. Topchjan

Sharafyan: "Offertorium" for solo clarinet, flute, trumpet, percussion, piano, violin, cello & c-bass

Sharafyan <Canticum Gratiosum> with Theo Bleckmann and MATA, cond. M. Ross

Divertissement for string quintet. M. Pogossian, V. Manuelian, G. Sutre, A. Ksajikian, M. Valerio

Sharafyan : Con-cor-dance 2nd Violin Concerto. M. Pogossian, APO, cond. E. Topchyan

Sharafyan : Trio #3 "Moon-rise over the Jerusalem" Trio Atanassov /France/

a short bio

One of the major composers in Armenia, but also internationally Vache Sharafyan is the author of more than ninety compositions including symphonic works, chamber music, choral, vocal music including the opera "King Abgar", ballets "Another Moon", "Ancient Gods", "the bride of the deserrt". Sharafyan's music is widely performed in his native country but also in the most prestigious international halls in USA, Italy, Israel, Russia France Canada, Ukraine, Georgia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Thailand, Lebanon, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Scotland, Mexico, Poland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Latvia, Greece, Cyprus, Poland and Sweden.

 It is also invited many contemporary music festivals whether in the US or Europe.

Praised as " stark, mysterious and ultimately majestic " by The New York Times, " complex, deliberate, ultimately captivating " by Boston Globe, " ingenious... , kaleidoscope of iridescent timbres..., magical " by The Strad, "fascinating and expressive" by David Harringtone /Kronos Quartet/,  the works of Sharafyan were commissioned - performed by outstanding musicians such as Yo- Yo Ma and "Silk Road Ensemble", Yuri Bashmet and The Ensemble "Soloists of Moscow", The Hilliard Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Gil Rose, Suren Bagratuni, Mario Brunello, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Alexander CHaushian, Movses Pogossian, George Pehlivanian, Dresdner Sinfoniker, Andrea Molino, Premil Petrovic, The Metropolitan Museum of Arts (2018), OSS, Karen Durgaryan,  Mansfield Symphony, Rostok Philharmonics, Thuringer Symphony, Soli Deo Gloria Psalm project,  NCOA, APO & Eduard Topchjan,  , Sion Festival to mention a very few.


Bio /longer/

Vache Sharafyan was born in 1966 in Yerevan (Armenia). A graduate of the Conservatory of Yerevan in 1990, in 1992 he obtained a doctorate in composition in the class of Professor Edvard Mirzoyan. From 1992 to 1996 he taught at the Armenian Theological Seminary in Jerusalem and is the author of a book on sacred hymns for the Church Holy Sepulchre in Jrusalem.

Born on February 11, 1966 in Yerevan, Armenia. In 1990 graduated with distinction from the Yerevan State Conservatory, Composition Department. In 1992 received Post-Graduate education in composition, class of Prof. E. Mirzoyan. Prise-Winner, All-Union Composers’ Competition in Moscow  (1985). Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project Inc official composer since 2001, MATA composer 2005...

 BMI Composer since 2002. 

Publishers: G. SCHIRMER, BIM-Editions, Billaudot, A-Ram LTD,

In 1992-96 as a Professor of music theory and sacred music Vache Sharafyan worked in Jerusalem Theological Armenian Seminary (Israel). Authored a Book of Chants for Holy Sepulchre Church, Jerusalem.

As an official composer for the renowned Silk Road Project since 2001, Sharafyan's compositions ”The Sun, the Wine and the Wind of Time” and “The Morning Scent of the Acacia’s Song” were performed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble in Cologne Philharmonie, Brussels Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebow, in USA: Carnegie (Stern ) Hall, Carnegie (Zankel) Hall, Berkeley University, Stanford University, Seattle/ Benaroya Hall/, Washington National Mall, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall, in Italy: Rome, Florence, Milan., and other venues in USA and Europe.

Sharafyan’s 2007 world premiers include Viola concerto ”Surgite Gloriae” with duduk, descant, baritone and orchestra premiered by Yuri Bashmet & “Moscow Soloists” at Elba Isola and Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall philharmonics season opening… 

“Sinfonia 2 un poco Concertante” was commissioned by Boston Modern Orchestra Project, cond. Gil Rose and premiered in 2008 at Jordan Hall.

Sharafyan is author of opera “King Abgar”, ballet “Another Moon”, a number of chambers, symphonic, choral, vocal compositions, which were commissioned/performed/recorded worldwide by Hilliard Ensemble, Metropolitan Artists in Concert, Anne Akiko Meyers, Avalon quartet, “Soli Deo Gloria”, MATA Ensemble (New York), Amsterdam Atlas Ensemble (Ed Spanjaard), Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Tony Arnold, Theo Bleckmann, Daniel Plaster, Scott Ramsay, Carl Thiemt, Artsvik Demurchyan, Jamila Raimbekova, HOVER State Chamber choir,  Irkutsk Philharmonic Orchestra (Ilmar Lapinsch), Mansfield Symphony (Robert Franz), APO (Eduard Topchjan), George Pehlivanian, NCOA (Emin Khachatutyan, Aram Gharabekian, Vahan Mardirossian),  Movses Pogossian, Colin Jacobsen, Guillaume Sutre, Varty Manouelian, Johnny Gandelsman, Tigran Maytesian, Pavel Vernikov, Maria Safaryants, Suren Bagratuni, Alexander Chaushian, Mario Brunello, Peter Stumpf, Erik Jacobsen, Boris Andrianov, Peter Bruns, Aram Talalyan,  Marta Bagratuni, Stephen Prutsmann, Andrew Armstrong, Joel Fan, Eric Stumacher, Ksenia Bashmet, Deborah Moriarty, Artur Avanesov,  James Houlik,  John Sampen, James Forger, Nicolas Cords, Nils Moenkemeyer, Matthias Worm, Yuri Gandelsman, Gevorg Dabaghyan, Araik Bartikyan, Emmanuel Hovhannisyan,  Jivan Gasparyan, Jivan Gasaryan junior , Maxim Novikov, Andy Miles, Zerafin ensemble (Amsterdam), Kunico Kato, Apple Hill Chamber Players, PNME (cond. Kevin Noe, Robin Fountain), Atanassov Trio (France), Baird Trio, Pittsburg Trio, Khachaturyan trio, Dilijan Chamber Music series /LA/,  Fugata Quintet /London/, Quintette  vent de Marseille, Dresdner Sinfoniker, cond. Andrea Molino, Petersburg Academic Philharmonic orchestra, Federico Mondelci, Rostok Philharmonic symphony orchestra and choir, Thuringer Simphony /Oliver Weder/, KU Leuven, Sion Festival among many others.

Sharafyan’s compositions were performed in the most prestigious venues in Armenia, USA, Italy, Israel, Russia, France, Canada, Ukraine, Georgia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Thailand, Lebanon, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Scotland, Mexico, Poland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Latvia, Greece, Cyprus, Poland and Sweden.

 Nominated to "Civitella Ranieri Fellowship" in 2006, Italy.

Guest professor on Armenian music studies at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for one semester in 2011.

Bogliasco Fellowship in 2013 , Italy; (completing of "The Another Moon" ballet of sacred gestures)

Premieres by year

Among Sharafyan’s 2007 premiers are:

  •  Viola Concerto “Surgite Gloriae” with duduk, discant, baritone, and orchestra (French horn, bell, strings) with Yuri Bashmet and ensemble "Moscow Soloists" (cond. R. Balashov) at Elba Isola Musicale Festival on September 4, as well as in Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall philharmonics seasson opening on September 19.
  • "Quintetto quasi Concerto per pianoforte e archi" at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles chamber music series season opening (M. Pogossian, A. Baltayan, B. Dembow, P. Stumpf, V. Sharafyan) on September 15,
  •  "My Lofty Moon" for 5 eastern and 8 western instruments played by Atlas Ensmeble at Amsterdam Muziekgebouw on January 23 (cond. Ed Spanjaard),
  •  "Folk tunes arrangements & transcriptions by Komitas" played by NCOA and G. Dabaghayn at Thearte du Chatelet in Paris (cond. A. Gharabekian) . 


Among 2008 premiers are:
  •  "Sinfonia 2 un poco Concertante" with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, cond. Gil Rose on May 23 at Jordan Hall  in Boston (Meet the Composer).
  • Cello Concerto with string orchestra with Suren Bagratuni and NCOA (cond. A.Gharabekian) at Komitas Chamber Music hall in Yerevan on May 31.
  •  recording of “Lacrymosa” for solo cello, descant, soprano, mix choir and symphony orchestra for the movie “Maestro” (prod. Vigen Chaldranyan) with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra & “Hover” choir (cond. Edward Topchjan) on October 26.
Among 2009 world premieres are:
  •  "Canticum Dolorosum et Pacificum" for soprano, mix choir and orchestra (trumpet, bass drum, piano, strings) with Artsvik Demurchyan, Hover choir, Serenade chamber orchestra, APO soloists cond. Eduard Topchjan on June 2 (Chamber Music Hall after Komitas).
  • Vi-O-La 1 for solo viola (commissioned by Maxim Novikov)
      2010 premieres include:
  • Verses for violin and vibraphone, Movses Pogossian & Kuniko Kato, Zipper Hall, Los Angeles
  • "Waterfall music" for choir, Hover Choir, Pollyfolia, France
  • Stanza for harp, Valentina Borisova, Moscow
  • Recording of Suite for cello and orchestra on BIS records (Sweden), Alexander Chaushian and Serenade Chamber Orchestra, cond. Eduard Topchjan
  • Sinfonia 2 un poco Concertante (BMOP commission) Italian premiere with Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, cond. Karen Durgaryan
  • Completing of opera "King Abgar" (2 acts, 7 scenes, 2 hours)

     2011 premieres include:
  • "Have Mercy on me, O God" for tenor and string quartet commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria and "look lovingly mercyful Father" (Daniel Plaster, Varty Manuelian, Movses Pogossina, Guillaume Sutre, Gina Coletti, Vardan Gasparyan);  
  • Vi-O-La n.2 with Maxim Novikov; 
  • CON-COR-D-ANCE 2nd Violin Concerto and Burlesca with Karen Shakhgaldyan and Gubernatorial Orchestra of Irkutsk Philharmony, cond. Ilmar Lapinsh;  
  • Burlesca for violin and orchestra 
  •  "Bridge Music" with Terem quartet and G. Dabaghyan; 
  • "Snow Cantata" for mix choir, baritone and organ with Hover Chamber Choir...

2012 world premieres include:
  • "Once in a beautiful meadow" for ensemble Zerafin, Amsterdam.
  • "Light-drop peals" version for clarinet and viola, Maxim Novikov & Andy Miles, Reinickend.-E.Reuter-Saal, Berlin.
  • "Esquisses Nostalgiques" for wind quintet and duduk/zurna commidssioned by Quintette a Vent de Marseille (Araik Bartikian duduk), Venelles, Aix en Provence France,
  • "Path towards this moment" for viola & organ , Maxim Novikov and Jevgenia Lisitsina, Riga Dome, Latvia
  • West cost premiere of "Have mercy on me , O God" with Scott Ramsay and Avalon string Quartet, Chicago
  • Recording of 2 hymns by the Hilliard Ensemble, CD "In search of miraculous" LCMS,  to released in January  
  • among commissioned/completed piece is also "Partita" for violin and piano (also version with orchestra) commissioned by Anne Akiko Meyers

2013 world premiers include

  • "Goats in the fog" for 2 saxophones, commissioned by John Sampen /USA/
  • "Between the dream and awakening " for saxophone and cello, James Forger, Suren Bagratuni /USA
  • "Violin & Duduk" Concerto with string orchestra , commissioned by Maria Safaryants, St. Petersburg

2014 world premieres include

  • Divertissement for string quintet, commissioned by Dilijan chamber music series /USA/
  • Trio #3 "Moon-light over Jerusalem" commissioned by Trio Atanassov /France/
  • Cello-breath for solo cello /to Mario Brunello, Italy/
  • Inner Dance for Fugata quintet /England/
  • Breath of Cello for solo cello/to Suren Bagratuni, USA/
  • Concerto #2 for Cello orchestra commissioned by Suren Bagratuni /USA/
  • Trio for saxophone, cello & piano commissioned by Suren Bagratuni, James Forger
  • Gem-Rose for cello, soprano and track /to Martha Bagratuni/
  • Goat-rite 12 movements cycle for solo piano /written for the pantomime theater, director Zhirayr Dadasyan/
  • "Drawing on air" for solo flute, commissioned by Festival dell Nazioni /Italy
  • "Two translations" for flute, oboe /engl. horn/clarinet, violin, piano and narrator, commissioned by the Festival dell Nazioni, Italy
  • "you are like incense tree" for 3 violins, Dilijan chamber music series , USA

2015 world premieres include

  • "Measurements of Infinity" 8 movements cycle for violin and piano /upon reading of E.Hilsenraths "The story of the last thought"/ commissioned be KULeuven, Belgium, dedicated to 100 years of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 
  • "Adnastan" Cantata for children choir and ensemble commissioned by George Pehlivanian /France/, dedicated to 100 years of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 
  • "Everlasting life" Cantata for mix choir , string quartet and piano, commissioned by Sion Festival /Switzerland/  dedicated to 100 years of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 
  • "Ne" for choir and bells, dedicated to Sona Hovhannisyan, Hover choir
  • "Mit der Stimme" for soprano and piano /text by Paul Celan/, in memory of Luciano Berio & Cathy Berberian. Sonia Visentin , Aldo Orvieto, Teatro La Fenice di Venizia, commissioned by MARATONA CONTEMPORANEA, Italy
  • "Dialogues with Komitas" commissioned by Marc Sinan


G.SCHIRMER (link to the score of Sharafyan :"Morning Scent of the Acacia's Song" for duduk and string quartet)

BIM-Editions, Sharafyan: "Luminous Silhouette of a Song" for Viola and Orchestra (also clarinet version and piano reduction)