Artemi Ayvazyan

From Unearthing The Music

Artemi Ayvazyan. Photo sourced from Discogs

Artemi (Harutyun) Ayvazyan (Armenian: Արտեմի Այվազյան, Russian: Артемий Айвазян; June 26, 1902 – November 14, 1975) was a Soviet Armenian composer, conductor, founder of the Armenian State Jazz Orchestra, and People's Artist of Armenia (1962).


Ayvazyan was born in Baku to a musical family. Many famous musicians including Fyodor Shalyapin and Sergei Rachmaninoff visited the family apartment on Merkurievskaya Street. Ayvazyan graduated from the Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1923, where he studied the cello under K.A.Minyar-Beloruchev and studied at the studio of Alexander Spendiarian. He then attended the Moscow State Conservatory, completing his post-graduate research in 1935. In 1933 Ayvazyan won the First Prize of an All-Soviet musical competition. In 1938 he founded the Armenian State Estrada (Jazz) Orchestra in Yerevan, one of the most popular in the USSR and the only one that survived the Stalinist repressions of the 1940s. Among his well-known songs are "Jan Yerevan", "Karine", "Get Arax" and "Im Karavan", a melody which became the unofficial anthem of the Karabakh movement in Armenia in 1988. He is also the author of the Armenian operetta "The Eastern Dentist," (featuring the popular 'Taparnikos's Song') and soundtracks ("Inchu e aghmkum getn?", "Mor sirtn" Armenian films, "The Snow Queen" Soviet cartoon animation). In 1939 Ayvazyan was awarded by the Renowned Master of Armenian SSR Arts title. He headed the Armenian State Estrada (Jazz) Orchestra until 1956, from 1943 to 1945 he was also the artistic head of Yerevan Musical Comedy Theater. Ayvazyan was the first cello professor at the Yerevan State Conservatory.

Artemi Ayvazyan on an Armenian stamp. Photo sourced from Wikipedia


  • "Государственный эстрадный оркестр Армянской ССР" (1948)


  • 1939 - The Priest and the Goat, animation
  • 1957 - Mother's Heart
  • 1957 - The Snow Queen
  • 1958 - What's All the Noise of the River About?
  • 1960 - A Poem about Armenia, doc.
  • 1961 - Before the Dawn
  • 1967 - Alexander Myasnikyan, doc.
  • 1967 - Suren Spandaryan, doc.


Text adapted from Wikipedia