Richard Yardumian (1917-1985, American)

In his biographies Richard Yardumian is described as Armenian-American, but in fact, although he was exposed to strong Armenian influences indeed through his parents and wrote much music based on Armenian tunes, he’s 100% American and even more, 100% Philadelphian, born and trained in Philadelphia, having enjoyed a long-term professional relationship with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra (“Throughout the history of their relationship, the Philadelphia Orchestra premiered ten of Yardumian’s works, bringing the total of known performances worldwide to nearly 100” – excerpt from Yardumian’s bio on Wikipedia), and died in Philadelphia.

I came to Yardumian’s music not through any specific interest for the composer but out of an interest for a label, Phoenix, which in the 1990s reissued to CD valuable material from various LP labels, like Desto or Varèse/Sarabande. So I decided to give a try to Yardumian’s apparently popular Armenian Suite and his Second Symphony on Phoenix PHCD 112. It gave me no strong incentive to listen to more music of the composer.

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