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The composer Vache Sharafyan was born in 1966 in Yerevan, Armenia. In 1990 he graduated with distinction from the Yerevan State Conservatory, Composition Department. In 1992 he received Post-Graduate education in composition, in the class of Prof. Eduard Mirzoyan. He is prize winner of the All-Union Composers’ Competition in Moscow (1985).
In 1992–96 as a Professor of music theory and sacred music, he has worked in the Jerusalem Theological Armenian Seminary (Israel). He authored a Book of Chants for Holy Sepulchre Church, Jerusalem.
As an official composer for the Silk Road Project since 2001, his compositions “The Morning Scent of the Acacia’s Song” for duduk and string quartet (as well as version for duduk, soprano and string orchestra), and ”The Sun, the Wine and the Wind of Time” for duduk, violin, cello and piano, were performed by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble in the Cologne Philharmonic hall, the Brussels Philharmonic hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in the USA (Carnegie (Stern) Hall, Carnegie (Zankel) Hall, Berkeley, Stanford Universities, Seattle Benaroya Hall, Washington National Mall, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall), in Rome, Florence (Theatre Pergola), and Milan (Giuseppe Verdi Hall).
Sharafyan is author of a number of chambers, symphonic, choral, vocal compositions. His 2007 world premieres included the concerto ”Surgite Gloriae” for Viola with duduk, descant, baritone and orchestra, performed by Yuri Bashmet and the “Moscow Soloists” at the Elba Isola Festival and the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall philharmonics season opening, “My Lofty Moon” for 5 eastern and 8 western instruments with the Atlas Ensemble (cond. Ed Spanjaard) at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, “11 arrangements & transcriptions by Komitas” with G. Dabaghyan and the NCOA at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, “Quintetto quasi Concerto per pianoforte e archi” with violinist Movses Pogossian and the LA Symphony principals at the Zipper hall in Los Angeles, “On wings of Hymnal” nos. 3, 4 for two cellos (with singing parts) with Suren Bagratuni and Ling-Yi Ou Yang in Taipei. Sharafyans’ 2008 premiers include “Sinfonia 2 un poco Concertante”, commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, cond. Gil Rose (May 23 2008, Jordan Hall, Boston), as well as the premiere of the Concerto for Cello and Strings with Suren Bagratuni and NCOA.
Sharafyan’s compositions were performed in Armenia, Israel, USA, France, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Lebanon, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Thailand, Hungary, Switzerland, Taiwan, Scotland, Ireland, England and Sweden.
Currently he teaches at the Yerevan State Conservatory as a music composition teacher.
The Chicago Tribune (18 Dec. 2002) wrote about The Silk Road Ensemble at Chicago Orchestra Hall: “….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 (Ma). The seamless evolution of moods and textures—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…”
The New York Times / May 9, 2002, Thursday MUSIC REVIEW: At a Cultural Crossroads, Yo-Yo Ma Becomes a Spice Trader; By ALLAN KOZINN
“…And the Shostakovich, on Tuesday, seemed to flow naturally from the world of the work performed just before it — “The Sun, the Wine and the Wind of Time” by Vache Sharafyan, from Armenia — although it quickly established itself on Shostakovich’s own terms…”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (08, 05, 02) wrote: “…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…”
Pittsburgh Live By Mark Kanny / TRIBUNE-REVIEW CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC / Monday, August 5, 2002
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.
David Harrington (Kronos Quartet) wrote: “I find him (Sharafyan) to be a fascinating and expressive composer whose music unites the ancient with the new and mysterious inner worlds with boldly tangible elements…”
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOCE / April 30, 2002, Robert Commanday, Senior Editor
“The issue with a cross-cultural composition is one of criteria. By what standard and in what aesthetic is the work to be perceived? It must be the product of a real and gifted composer, strong enough a composition to establish its own measure, as Takemitsu’s pieces are. To an extent, Vache Sharafyan’s The Sun, the Wine, and the Wind of Time (from Armenia, 1998) created its own time and space. The western tradition was reflected in its overall song-form structure and writing for piano, violin and cello.”
THE BOSTON GLOBE, by Matthew Guerrieri Globe Correspondent / May 27, 2008
“By contrast, 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.”