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Constantine Orbelian Agaparonovich

( People's Artist of USSR)

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Biography Constantine Orbelian Agaparonovich
photo Constantine Orbelian Agaparonovich
Born July 29, 1928 in the town of Armavir. Father - Orbelian Agaparon Sultanovich (1892-1938). Mother - Atarbekova Sofia Mikhailovna (1900-1991). Brother - Orbelian Harry Agaparonovich (1920g.rozhd.) Vice President for External Economic Relations of the Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco, head of the Council on International Trade in San Francisco.

Musical ability opened in Constantine in the early childhood. The elder brother Constantine, Harry, often played music on the piano, pick out melodies then-fashionable songs. Imagine his surprise when, five years younger brother simply was playing music, heard in the performance of Harry. Able boy sent to a school for gifted children at the Baku Conservatory. But Constantine managed to spend a very short. Has come in 1936. Begun in the bloody repression of the country was not spared and the house Orbelian. He was arrested and later shot his father. Two years later, in 1938, arrested and sentenced to 10 years in Stalin's camps mother. She was rehabilitated only in 1953. Harry and Constantine were alone, suddenly becoming the pariahs of society, "children of enemies of the people". Immediately Constantine expelled from the "prestigious" schools. From the big city brothers moved to the village in Nagorno-Karabakh. We had to somehow survive. Harry began teaching at the school, and 11-year-old Konstantin moonlighting accompanying gymnasts from the sports society "Petrel". In 1940, Harry called on the army. A year later the war began.

In 1942, Constantine took piano and accordion in a jazz 8-th Air Corps, which was formed at that time a good band. 14-year-old musician became a disciple of a military band. Once jazz came on tour in Yerevan. Armenian jazz musicians "discovered" for a young improviser. At a talented musician drew the attention and decided to invite a group of founder and CEO of Variety Orchestra of Armenia Artemij Ayvazian. Getting them to work together Orbelian always remembers with humor. Called a telegram from the Ayvazian, Konstantin hastened to come to the maestro as he was, in the not very presentable form. As to everything else, quite daring in character, the move has made some critical remarks about the last appearance Orchestra of Armenia. Ayvazian, after hearing a young man in his own way accepted the challenge without any prior rehearsals and preparations "pushed" Orbelian on stage in a concert. However, Constantine not only confused, but also proved that he can play and improvise in a rather complex environment. Orbelian invited to the staff of the orchestra. We Ayvazian, who became his "childhood friend", a young Orbelian was a good school. In those years, pop orchestra of Armenia is considered one of the best Soviet ensembles, which were the hallmark of professionalism, bright theatrical form of speeches and orientation of the Armenian national music. Believes himself Orbelian, it was then laid a solid foundation for its future activities.

Since 1945, Constantine Orbelian begins to try not only as a pianist, but also as a composer. For the orchestra, he makes arrangements of folk songs and composed his first of which - "Lullaby". As one of the best jazz artists to Constantine comes fame and glory not only in Armenia but also abroad. In 1948, while touring with the orchestra in Moscow Orbelian supported star musical world of that time - Tsfasman and B. Lyudvikovsky, who later became a friend of Constantine. In the same year Orbelyan receives an invitation to the famous jazz Utjosov. No matter how tempting was this prospect, Constantine refused in favor of the proposal Ayvazian take up the post of conductor in a pop orchestra of Armenia.

Despite the closure of the USSR in those years, something about jazz yet filtered. Constantine, as well as many audiophiles those years, risking their freedom, yet smuggling plate with Western music. Secretly listening to Glenn Miller and Michel Legrand, mlodoy musician learned from them to new thinking and performing style. Orbelian passion for jazz and piano improvisations assessed while implanting an alien ideology, was to create more difficulties in the work. Constantine began to accuse almost ideological subversion, demanding "to stop the activities of the Soviet people alien to American jazz music". At the same time, once the homeland of their ancestors, Orbelian discovered the treasures of the spiritual life of Armenia: poetry Avetik Isahakian, linen Saryan and, of course, the music of Aram Khachaturian. Understanding each essay Aram became an event in the professional and domestic life Orbelian. The works of masters became a guide to great music, expanded the scope of understanding of art. In 1948, Constantine became acquainted with the composer himself. Aram Ilyich interested in the talented young man, very supported by Constantine and later years are always followed his success. At the same friends Orbelian were young Armenian composer Alexander Arutyunyan, Arno Babajanyan, Edward Mirzoyan - representatives of thundering across the country of original National Art School. All these circumstances have brought Constantine to take a fairly bold decision - to drastically change your life. The young man, located on the crest of fame, decided to leave it all for the sake of future studies.

In 1952, Konstantin Orbelian left pops orchestra of Armenia and entered the 1-year student music school named after R. Melikyan in class composer E. Mirzoyan. Combining work with study, Orbelian settled concertmaster at the Yerevan Opera and Ballet Theater. As a result, there are three ballet miniatures Orbelian: "In Flight", "Monument" and "We are for peace". Miniatures (choreographer In. Varkovitsky) were used successfully for many years and did not descend from the stage. In 1954 he graduated with honors from college and entered the Conservatory.

In the same year Orbelyan organized radio instrumental quintet. This was a step towards returning to the beloved world of jazz. Again - a cardinal change in the life of Constantine. In 1955 Orbelyan an attempt at a new genre. With a. Harutyunyan, they composed the music for the film "Heart Sings". Songs of the film immediately became a hit in all cities of the Soviet Union and received favorable evaluation Khachaturian. In 1956, Konstantin Orbelian finish the job back in college String Quartet. Product has such an expressive, maturity and integrity that had a reputation particularly interested in discerning musician Komitas Quartet. At held in Moscow ten days of Armenian literature and art (1956), they performed brilliantly orbelyanovsky Quartet, which by law has been recognized as one of the best achievements of Armenian music. In the same year at the International Competition VI World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow jury, headed by D. Shostakovich, for this work awarded to Konstantin Grand Prix and gold medal.

At that time, Orchestra of Armenia, led by Aivazian, in crisis. The team needed an influx of fresh ideas and energetic leader who can revive the orchestra. Lead a team suggested Constantine Orbelian. After much hesitation, Constantine has agreed and in 1956 he was appointed conductor and artistic director of the State Variety Orchestra of Armenia. It was difficult at first. Orbelian had to overcome entrenched in the collective attitudes. Had to introduce a mandatory leadership style. In fact, was completely renovated the orchestra - from 18 the orchestra had to part. Four months was spent on the preparation of a new program. A. Babadzhanyan and Arutyunyan Orchestra of Armenia offered his new works. Specially composed for orchestra Orbelian play Dilijan "and" Jazz Concert March ", with the first performance of a favorite with students and become" branded "a sign the team is always executed at the end and beginning of the speech. Constantine also made an independent jazz treatment of the song "Haroun Yerevan Khachaturian and fully transcribed for jazz" Saber Dance "Khachaturian. "Shock" number was Dyuvalyan Jacques, a visiting Orbelyan temperamental singer from France. As a result, a new program the orchestra triumphantly withstood the test tour in Moscow, Tbilisi, Baku.

1957 became a landmark for Constantine. The young musician was a member of the Union of Soviet Composers. First implement the principles of the alloy of modern jazz melodies, and national. In the same year during a tour there Orbelian personal acquaintance with Michel Legrand. In 1957, on his birthday Constantine was the most expensive gift in my life. Surprisingly, found his brother, Harry Orbelian, be dead at the front.

At the end of 1960 Orbelyan decided to briefly leave the band, caseloads, which made it impossible to finish school. For the year allotted for the preparation of the thesis, written Orbelian Symphony. For any musician is - the highest form of creativity, and Constantine it was the happiest event in the composer's life. Typical orbelyanovskaya music - warm, energetic, and tender at the same time - captivated both musicians and listeners. Symphony Orbelian many times sounded in Yerevan, Moscow. In 1962 he was awarded the highest prize of the festival, the All-Union Competition for Young Composers in Moscow. Was performed and recorded by the State Symphony Orchestra under Yuri Aranovich. Later played in many countries.

After graduating in 1961, the Conservatory Constantine Orbelian returned to work with the orchestra. Armenian Jazz began to enter the international ring. In 1966 he took the first trip abroad as part of the cultural program of the Days of the Soviet Union in Czechoslovakia. The next year the staff of the orchestra was warmly received in Poland. While Orbelian composes jazz instrumental music "New Wave". His "polyphonic prelude" for 4 trombones and alto saxophone entered the repertoire of great jazz orchestras, including the famous Czech team managed by Charles Vlach. Play Orbelian won the competition jazz compositions, held in 1964 on radio Czechoslovakia. Parallel Constantine Orbelian did not forget about the serious music. In 1968 appeared "Festive Overture" for Symphony Orchestra, and later award-winning All-Union competition for the best symphonic work. In 1969 Orbelian created the ballet "Immortality" (choreographic symphony) - unexpected for the author hits a tragic work - a tale of war. Ballet was placed in 2 editions: the stage of the Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian (r. Yerevan) in 1969 (conducted by A. Voskanyan, choreography M. Martirosyan) and in 1975 (conducted by A. Katanyan, choreography by A. Asatryan). The second edition was timed to the 30 th anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War and remained in the repertory until now. The play was warmly accepted by the Moscow and Leningrad by the public during tours of the theater. Yerevan performance, including all of its creators and authors of music, I was marked by awards at All-Union competition of musical performances dedicated to the 30-year anniversary of Victory (1975). In 1978, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet performed his setting of "Immortality".

Since the early 70-ies Orchestra of Armenia became triumphant fame in the USSR and abroad. The team played the best concert halls of the world, along with popular jazz groups. Most performances were truly competitive nature. The first such test Armenian musicians stood in 1973. in West Germany during the days of Soviet culture. They had over six hours to play on stage with one of the most famous groups - Orchestra Cologne radio and television running Werner Mueller. The public and press were unanimous: the Armenian jazzmen beat foreign colleagues. In 1975. State pop orchestra of Armenia became the first Soviet jazz bands visited the home of jazz - in the U.S.. Armenian jazzmen gave 25 concerts in major American cities: Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Providence. The final concert was heard in the Lincoln Center in New York. After the first concert of the rumors about the orchestra from Yerevan soon spread throughout the country. Armenian Orchestra dispels the myth of the ban or the existence of clandestine Soviet jazz "(The New York Times)," Under the leadership of K. Orbelian Orchestra with soloists demonstrated a high level of performance with a rich repertoire of their own creativity and works of the world of jazz composers, . such as Duke Ellington, . Ray Charles and others,
. Orchestration on the original theme big band jazz in all respects equal to the best of of what ever encountered bands of Woody Hermana, Wall Kenton, Count Basie, or Ted Johnson - Mel Lewis (San Francisco ekzeminer). Well-known jazz critic John Wasserman, . Armenian musicians called the speech "jazz with oriental flair", . noted, . that "performance in culturally was just as important, . as, . example, . performances of the Bolshoi Theater and the Leningrad Kirov Ballet, . if not even more significant ",
. Completed U.S. tour, the orchestra grand apotheosis. In honor of the Armenian jazz with a reception at the United Nations, which was attended by stars of American jazz.

In 1976, jazz Armenia received the invitation to tour France. Tour Nice-Marseille - Lyon finished 11 concerts in such prestigious halls of Paris, as "Pliel" and "Theater des Champs Elysees". "Oriental flavor" orbelyanovskogo jazz brought him immense popularity and in the East. The orchestra has visited almost all of its regions. In many countries, visited more than once. He was very loved in India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon (Beirut only - 44 concerts in crowded halls). He visited the orchestra and in Africa: in Kenya and Ethiopia. Ability Orbelian in a few hours to prepare a musical number in any national culture, until the processing Ethiopian melodies, very difficult for a European jazz, led by surprise. Ethiopians are not allowed to go long Armenian jazz, applauding how confident musicians reproduce familiar Ethiopians from the cradle song. The orchestra has toured in many countries of the former socialist commonwealth. Not once took part in the festivals: the Baltic countries in the GDR, "Golden Orpheus" in Bulgaria. 11 years in a row Constantine Orbelian was a member of the jury "Golden Orpheus". Brilliant results showed Armenian jazz and jazz festival in Belgrade in 1977. Rivals Armenian musicians were some of the most famous American bands - jazz ensembles of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and pianist George Duke. Speeches orchestra Orbelian become a kind of sensation. As a result, the State Orchestra of Armenia took a variety show with the Belgrade Festival Grand Prix. And three times the orchestra became the winner of the international jazz festivals: in Poland, East Germany and West Germany.

Over 36 years tenure as head of the State Variety Orchestra of Armenia Constantine Orbelian not only kept the orchestra-survivor. First of all, he managed a team of like-minded. From big band past Orchestra of Armenia has become a modern jazz band, always subtly feels the transformation of the volatile and elusive areas as jazz. All this - thanks to a timely conducted Orbelyan internal reformation group, modifications of the instrumental composition, continuously updated repertoire and changing the manner of execution. And also due to strong selection of artists who feel the nature of jazz improvisation. Constantine Orbelian some special scent can guess the gifted artists. No wonder the orchestra stuck the name "talent bank". During this time the band became popular and gained international fame. A wider range of repertoire: from simple arrangements of folk songs and dances to the detailed instrumental tracks of high class and the most advanced level. The musicians perform works of Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Ted Johnson, Khachaturian, A. Ayvazian, A. Babajanian, A. Harutyunyan, and many. The team traveled with the tour all the republics and regions of the former USSR: Siberia, the Far East, the Baltic, the Volga region, Caucasus, North Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, etc.. Only in Moscow Central Concert Hall "Russia" Orchestra Orbelian played 14 years in a row. Overseas tours have become an integral part of the team. State pop orchestra of Armenia visited the different parts of the world, made in 40 countries.

In addition to live performances Constantine Orbelian fruitfully worked as a composer. In 1972 appeared a paraphrase of "falling stars" (another name - "Sunrise") Bud Rich. At the same time Orbelyan lot of experimenting with different styles of jazz, . including then new direction jazz-rock - "Dawn of the Sevan", . "Come to Zangezour" (songs in the Armenian style, . 1981), . "Moscow Olympic" (1980), . "Dreams" (impressionistic jazz, . 1982), . "Vocalise" (dp,
. name of "Variations for voice and orchestra", 1982) - jazz composition in the style of "bebop", "Jet engine" (American "hot jazz", 1986). All of these works on the law are among the indisputable achievements of Soviet jazz instrumental music. This is - a serious jazz. In 1989, after 30 years, the 50 th anniversary of the orchestra and as a tribute to Aivazian Orbelian from memory (no score kept) "Armenian Rhapsody" by A. Aivazian. Since then, she was again heard in concerts. The orchestra Armenia Orbelian added a new product - "Nocturne". Every time his performance is always stormy delight listeners.

Among a variety of proven to composer of musical directions and takes a portion of his songwriting. At various times winners of the famous TV contest "Song of the Year" were orbelyanovskie "One hundred hours of happiness," "The Sound of birches," "Arevik", "Galises". International Prizes were awarded "I love you, my Moscow" (Hungary), "Galises" (winner of the festival hits in Czechoslovakia and East Germany). In Czechoslovakia, was published record of popular songs by Soviet composers, entitled "The Sound of birches". Famous French company "Charles du Mont" was published record with the songs "My Yerevan, Armenia and spring in my heart". Orbelyan written "Peace and love dancing," "Pet '- it means to live", "One hundred hours of happiness," "The Sound of birches," "Thank you life," "Love does not grow old," "You're not the one who needs me," "Remember ! - And some other. In particular category can be identified and the work of the composer to write music for films. In particular, "The Way of the arena" and "2-Leonid-2".

Constantine Orbelian is the recipient of numerous union and international competitions. Repeatedly, he was invited as a jury member at international jazz competitions.

In 1979, for the great achievements in the development of Soviet musical culture Constantine Orbelian was awarded the title People's Artist of USSR,

Constantine Orbelian awarded the Orders of Friendship of Peoples, "Badge of Honor" and the Bulgarian Order of Cyril and Methodius.

Since the mid 90-ies became more difficult to work. There are circumstances, against which to fight hard. USSR collapsed, the Armenian musicians do not come from Moscow. And then in Yerevan, not to music. The difficult economic situation, people sit without light and water. In 1992, Konstantin Orbelian went to the city of San Francisco. He is currently working there and writes music. Recently, they created the instrumental and vocal compositions for jazz. Orbelian "bored" and more music, calling it a "daily, hourly bulletin of human sentiments".

Lives and works in Los Angeles.

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