Vazgen Muradian is one of America's most accomplished composers of classical music, and perhaps our nation's most prolific composer in the symphonic genre. Mr. Muradian's lifetime contribution to both American and world music is little short of breathtaking. During the past half-century, he has made a singular contribution to the cultural heritage of our nation and the world. Mr. Muradian is the only composer in the history of music known to have written a concerto for every classical instrument. Additionally, he has brought many non-traditional instruments, such as the banjo, the saxophone, the harmonica and several other more exotic and unusual instruments, into the classical repertory, many for the first time. Thus far, he has written one hundred ninety-five works, including sixty-eight concertos for thirty-five instruments, thirty-six symphonies, sixteen sonatas, twelve suites, two quartets, two trios, sixty-four songs in six languages for voice, chorus, and orchestra, and many other compositions for violin, piano, and other instruments. All of his major works are written in classical sonata form'the most difficult from of composition'and all his themes and melodies are entirely original. Mr. Muradian is a neo-classical melodist whose works have been compared with those of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven and Schubert. He continues to compose actively. Biography Mr. Muradian was born on October 17, 1921 in Ashtarak, Armenia, a small town near Yerevan, the capital city. He showed an early love for music. While he was first introduced to the violin at age eight, he could not take it up because his family was too poor to buy him an instrument. When he was fourteen, his brother bought him a violin and, late for a violinist, he enthusiastically began his formal musical studies at the Spendiarian Professional School of Music in Yerevan. He started composing four years later. The Second World War interrupted Mr. Muradian's musical career when he was drafted into the Soviet Army. He saw action against the invading Nazis at the Eastern Front. Escaping both the Nazis and the Soviets after Soviet resistance collapsed, he traveled throughout war-torn Europe as a refugee, playing the violin with the Stanislav Symphony Orchestra, the Lvov Opera, and as a vaudeville player in Warsaw. By the end of the war, his adventures had taken him from Warsaw to Vienna to Berlin and eventually to Venice, where he went to attend the Benedetto Marcello State Conservatory of Music. There, he studied composition with Gabriele Bianchi, violin with Luigi Ferro, and viola d'amore with Renzo Sabatini. In 1948, Mr. Muradian graduated with the degree of Professor of Music and began teaching music at the Armenian College of Murat Raphael in Venice. He emigrated to the United States in 1950 and played the viola in several orchestras including the Wagner Opera Company of New York and the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. He became an American citizen in 1955 and settled in New York, where he withdrew from orchestral playing to concentrate on composing. He created all of his major works in the United States. Mr. Muradian's compositions have been performed in the United States and abroad by ensembles such as the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Little Orchestra Society of New York, and the Viola d'amore Society of America. Concerts exclusively of his music have been presented in New York, Chicago, Yerevan, Armenia, and elsewhere. Mr. Muradian's concertos for two violas, two violas d'amore, three violas d'amore (or violins or violas), four violas d'amore (or violins or violas), viola d'amore and viola da gamba, viola and cello, viola d'amore and oud (or guitar), and his double concerto for violin and piano are all the first ever composed for those combinations of instruments in world music literature. His concertos for banjo, xylophone, harmonica, oud, duduk, tar, kiamancha, and kanon are also the first ever composed for those instruments. Mr. Muradian also happens to be the first American composer to write a concerto for the viola d'amore. Only Buxtehude and Bach are known to have written six solo sonatas for violin. Mr. Muradian has written seven. Most of his instrumental compositions are written to be performed on multiple instruments without losing their characteristic charm. Mr. Muradian was the winner in 1962 of the Tekeyan Prize of Beirut, Lebanon for cultural achievement. In 1996, the Armenian Catholicos of Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, honored Mr. Muradian with the Mesrop Mashtots Medal for his lifelong musical accomplishment. In 1998, Mr. Muradian received a lifetime achievement award from the Viola d'Amore Society of America. Still composing actively, last year, Mr. Muradian was commissioned by the Verdehr Trio of Michigan State University and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. to write two works. This fall, Crystal Records of Camas, Washington will release the most recent recording of Mr. Muradian's music'his oboe concerto performed by oboist Peter Christ and his quartet. Mr. Muradian is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP). He is listed in Marquis's Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World, and International Biographical Center's Who's Who in International Music and International Men of Achievement. His viola d'amore works are published by the Viola d'Amore Society of the Great Britain. In addition to being an accomplished musician, Mr. Muradian is an avid amateur etymologist. Besides naming all the parts of the violin and bow in Armenian for the first time, he coined the Armenian name for the viola d'amore, an instrument he also introduced to Armenia for the first time. Mr. Muradian has authored a number of scholarly articles and has also translated the lyrics of twenty-eight of his songs from their six original languages into Armenian and English. He and his wife, Arpi, reside in New York City. They have two sons, Vardges and Armen, and two grandchildren. Notable Quotes About Vazgen Muradian . . . 'Only the Masters write so simply.' ' Dimitri Mitropoulos, Conductor 'Muradian is a talented composer, whose music is very melodic, emotional and beautiful. In today's noisy music environment, how did he stay so pure and classical'' ' Aram Khachaturian, Composer 'He is a very talented composer.' ' Ruggiero Ricci, Violinist 'I heard is music, Sonata Opus 31, Adagio e Rondo Opus 11, and Moto Perpetuo Opus 27. They are very well written both as compositions and in their use of the violin.' ' Isaac Stern, Violinist 'e has a strongly profiled piano sonata which sounded like Beethoven . . . is oboe concerto sounded like exotic Telemann . . . his violin pieces sounded like Bach and Paganini . . . his pieces were expertly tailored for the instruments.' ' Peter Davis, The New York Times 'Just the idea of writing a concerto for every instrument is a creation in itself.' ' Gabriele Bianchi, Composer 'He is a composer to be greeted with a bravo. Muradian's works have tremendous personality; they are sensible, honest and sincere. He is a master composer, a creator of real and beautiful music, which leaves the listener with a desire to hear more of it.' ' Carlo De March, Violinmaker 'From so much violin music sent to me, I selected only a precious few, among them Muradian's pieces, which were all masterfully crafted for the violin.' ' Zino Francescati, Violinist 'Muradian's solo violin sonata p. 42 is one of the best solo sonatas I have ever heard. Powerful, yet emotional, it is just real music, and real music is so rare today. I would recommend every virtuoso violinist to play it.' ' Simone Sacconi, Violinmaker 'In uradian's beautiful Trumpet Concerto, there is everything that the trumpet can and ought to do, technically and tonally. This concerto should be taught in all the conservatories of the world.' ' Philip Smith, 1st Trumpet - New York Philharmonic 'His music gives one the feeling he gets listening to Mozart, Beethoven, Bach or Handel.' ' Dieter Kober, Music Director - Chicago Chamber Orchestra 'Muradian is a composer of most remarkable talent. His musical imagination is absolutely original, with profound depth, external expression, solid technique and with a pleasant touch of Armenian musical coloring, which makes his music even more desirable. The components of his creations he molds in forms of classical music which are close to his temperament. Meanwhile, he never loses the point of being a contemporary composer.' ' Gabriele Bianchi, Composer 'Vazgen Muradian is a great, international caliber composer. The world should know and enjoy his music. Muradian's concerti are expertly written for each instrument. He has a unique talent to evoke the ideal sound from each instrument. His flute sounds exactly as one would imagine the flute should sound; his oboe, exactly like the ideal oboe; his trumpet, exactly like the trumpet should sound. And his music remarkably exploits the full technical range of each and every instrument. In my entire career, I have conducted only two concerts featuring the music of a single composer, where after two hours of listening, the audience wanted more. The composers were Mozart and Muradian. But remember, Mozart did not write 64 concerti for 35 instruments. Muradian is the only composer in history to accomplish such a feat!' ' Dieter Kober, Music Director - Chicago Chamber Orchestra 'One of our best composers, Vazgen Muradian has so many beautiful compositions of all kinds, for orchestra, violin, piano, for all kinds of instruments, and for voice in six languages. I am proud to be one of the artists who performed his music and would recommend performers and music lovers everywhere to become acquainted with the wonderful music Muradian creates.' ' Lucine Amara, Soprano - The Metropolitan Opera 'After so many years, finally, there is a composer who brings us real music and shouts loudly, 'stop making noise, music is melody!' This exceptional man proves that such music can be written today'melodic, profound, exciting music. What's more, he has the strength and courage to write in classical sonata form.' ' Giorgio Sini, Pianist 'Muradian's music is sincere and direct, with deep emotion. His melodies are so beautiful, they can be compared only with those of the great masters of the past. Muradian is convinced that the hardest way to deliver feelings without words in music is the simplest ' plainly, openly, straightforwardly, without clutter or gimmickry.' ' Jacob Glick, Violist, Professor - Bennington College 'Oh my, it's ullaby jut like a Bach cantata ' wonderful!' ' Lili Chookasian, Contralto - The Metropolitan Opera 'Only twice in my lifetime, have I heard a concert where the entire program was of one composer's music. Once it was Mozart. Once it was Muradian. And both times, the audiences were so excited with pleasure, that they would not leave until they heard more.' ' Nona Balakian - The New York Times Book Review * * *.