Ashot Ariyan

(b. 3 April 1973, Yerevan).

Armenian composer, now resident in Canada, of mostly orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works that have been performed in Europe and North America.

Mr. Ariyan studied piano with Ruben Saryan at the Romanos Melikian College of Music in Yerevan from 1989–92, where he graduated with distinction, and studied composition with Armen Smbatyan and piano with Elena Abajyan at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan from 1992–95. He studied composition with Karen Khachaturian at the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow from 1995–2001, where he earned his BMus and MMus. He later studied composition with Denis Gougeon at the Université de Montréal from 2008–13, where he earned his PhD.

Among his honours is First Prize in the competition for folk and spiritual music Komitas in Yerevan (1994, for Three Taron Songs). His music has been performed in Armenia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Russia, Spain, and the USA.

He taught composition, harmony, polyphony, and score reading at the Sveshnikov Choral Academy in Moscow from 2001–07 and analysis, form, instrumentation, and polyphony at the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory from 2002–07. He later taught music theory as a visiting professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 2016–17.

He has lived in Canada since 2007.


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Bilgamesh (Gilgamesh) (opera–ballet, libretto by the composer, Douglas Frayne, after Babylonian sources, Sumerian sources), soprano, 2 baritones, 2 basses, silent rôle, mixed chorus, 4 dancers, large orchestra (11 winds, 11 brass, harp, piano, timpani, 3 percussion, strings), 2009–12


Symphony No. 1, 'Manfred', string orchestra, 1994–96

Concerto-Brevis, piano, orchestra, 1999

Symphony No. 2, 2000–01

Symphonic Fresco No. 1, 'Skanda', duduk (oboe from Armenia), orchestra, fixed media, 2002–03

Symphonic Fresco No. 2, 'Sounds of Stonehenge', 2009

Perpetuum Mobile, string orchestra, 2016


Ballade, clarinet, piano, 1991

Trio, violin, cello, piano, 1993–94

Capriccio, violin, 1997

Amaras, clarinet, cello, piano, 1997

Dedication, cello, 1998

String Quartet, 1998–99

Resonances, French horn, 2 B-flat trumpets, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, piano, 2005–06

Dusk, cello, piano, 2007

Planète X. (Un Train pour l'enfer II), flute, French horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, piano, 2013


For Armenia (poem, text by Valery Bryusov), mixed chorus, 1997

Deus Lucem (vocalise), mixed chorus, 2014


Romance (text by Hovhannes Tumanyan), voice, piano, 1992

Three Taron Songs (text from a folk source from Armenia), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1994

Das Grablied (text by Friedrich Nietzsche), baritone, piano, 2017


Children's Pieces, 1989, revised 2015

Sonata, 1990

Toccata, Intermedia and Fugue, 1995

Three Pieces, 1997

12 Fugues and Postludes, 2000–15