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Artyomov was preparing to become physicist, studying music at the same time. He finished the musical college affiliated to the Moscow Conservatory (composition class of A. Pirumov), then graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1968 where studied composition with Nikolai Sidelnikov and piano with Tovi Logovinsky. He became a member of the Union of Composers and ACM - Association for Contemporary Music. He was active as an editor at the Moscow publishers "Musyka" for several years.
In 1975, he joined the improvisation group "Astreya" together with the composers Sofia Gubaidulina and Viktor Suslin. In 1979, he was blacklisted as one of the “Khrennikov's Seven” at the Sixth Congress of the Union of Composers for unapproved participation in some festivals of Soviet music in the West.
His music was performed by M.Rostropovich, G.Rozhdestvensky, D.Kytaenko, V.Fedoseyev, M.Pletnyov, V.Spivakov, T.Currentzis, Virko Baley, D.Alexeev, S.Bunin, F.Kopachevsky, L.Isakadze, T.Grindenko, Yo-Yo Ma, A.Rudin, O.Yanchenko, L.Petrova.
He was a participant in many European musical venues since 1979. Festivals of his music: "Festival of the Premiers" (Moscow, 1994), "Artyomov-Festival" (Amsterdam, 1997). His works were nominated for the State Prizes in Russia and prestigious prizes in the US. They appeared on 27 CDs in USA, GB, Germany and Russia. His Selected Works began to be published in 2000 in Moscow (8 volumes were issued). Artyomov is an Actual Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, President of the Foundation for Spiritual Creation, and holder of the Order of Friendship (2010).
Artyomov's compositions show his interest in the archaic ("Incantations", "Totem") and Christian motifs ("Requiem", "Ave, Maria") as well as Eastern meditation ("Awakening", "A Symphony of Elegies", "Moonlight Dreams"). As a young composer, he developed a profound interest, successively, in Russian folklore, traditional music of the East, works of Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Messiaen, and the Polish avant-garde. But it was Arthur Honegger’s Symphonie Liturgique, as well as the works of Edgar Varèse and Sinfonia by Luciano Berio that made the greatest and most lasting impression on him.
Artyomov prefers not to call his music by such an indeterminate word “contemporary”; he uses a specific term for including it into the Tradition “musica perennis” (eternal music). This Tradition has as its subject expressing first of all the poignancy of emotional experience, the most secret depth of man’s existence – not for a psychological task but for the achievement of the super-real being. As the composer says, “music is the only way for the cognition of the sense of existence”.
Artyomov considers music a science – concentration of soul experience – and, side by side with astrophysics, - one of two main fundamental sciences: astrophysics broaden the horizon of knowledge of the Universe, and music exposes the profundity and strength of human’s spirit, his interconnection with the World’s Soul (Anima Mundi). Music is “a mediator between God and man”, “a concentrate of spiritual energy, which should awaken man’s ethical understanding and purify his soul” (“Foundation of the Philosophy of Music”).
Both cycles of symphonies – Symphony of the Way and The Star of Exodus are written in a new significant, sublime and sweet style - stile nuòvo grande, sùblime e soave.
“Artyomov has absolutely clear and unique composer’s image. .. Artyomov brings glory to our country and to Russian art”. (Mstislav Rostropovich, September, 1990).
“Artyomov would appear to be just the sort of composer whose appearance is especially timely at this point in the life of his country… His music and his artistic outlook in general reflect the questing for a new order of spiritual values as well as a new regard for individuality”. (Richard Freed. ”Kennedy Center Stagebill”, September, 1990).
“I am under an incredible impression, almost a shock, produced by all that I found in his inexhaustible scores… Each sound in Artyomov’s music comes from the heart, the soul, the nerves, - it is fine melodics, it is a kind of heavenly magic, which drives you up – to purity, self-perfection, beauty…” (Dmitri Kitayenko, November,1988).
“What we are witnessing is music that dares simply to exist, shining like the sun, allowing us to bask in its warmth… The first part of the tetralogy, the Way to Olympus, is stunning… Artyomov’s On the Threshold of a Bright World is even more rare – it is a work of genius…” (Octavio Roca. “The Washington Times”, September 24,1990).
“Artyomov is outstanding composer. His Requiem has raised Russian music to the unattainable previously height. I’m sure it is due to Artyomov that we have not only reached the European level in this genre, but surpassed its acmes – Requiems by Mozart and Verdi”. (Tikhon Khrennikov, 1988).
“What cannot be emphasized too strongly is the nobility and sincerity of genuine spirituality which informs so much of Artyomov’s art. It is an astounding creation, occupying a unique place for its composer and for Russian music in the last quarter of the 20th century”. (Robert Matthew-Walker. "Elegies" CD by Olympia, 1993).
“In the age of minimalism and abstraction Artyomov stands apart – his music is created to serve a greater purpose, much in the same way as the later works of Scriabin and the music of Messiaen”. (Stephen A.Whealton. “Way to Olympus” CD by Mobile Fidelity, 1989)
“Artyomov is justification of the Russian music of our days” (Eduard Hayrapetian, 2011)
- Symphony of the Way (tetralogy):
- Way to Olympus, a symphony 1978–1984
- On the Threshold of a Bright World, a symphony 1990, 2002, rev.2013
- Gentle Emanation, a symphony 1991, 2008
- The Morning Star Arises, a symphony 1993
- Requiem, 1985–1988;
- The Star of Exodus (trilogy):
- In Memoriam,a symphony with violin solo 1968, 1984
- In Spe, a symphony with violin and cello solos 1995–2014
- Gurian Hymn, 1986
- A Symphony of Elegies, 1977
- A Garland of Recitations, 1975–1981
- Tristia I, 1983
- Pietà, 1992, 1996
- Tristia II, 1997, 1998, rev. 2011
- Latin Hymns:
- Star Wind, 1981
- Hymns of Sudden Wafts, 1983
- Incantations, 1981
- Moonlight Dreams, 1982
- Hymn Ave, Crux Alba, 1994, 2012
- CDBMR011129 - Vyacheslav Artyomov: Requiem Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra - Boheme
- CDBMR002124 - Vyacheslav Artyomov: - Ave - Boheme
- CDBMR010127 - Vyacheslav Artyomov: Awakening, Concert of the 13, Morning Songs & A Garland of Recitations - Boheme
- OCD514 - Vyacheslav Artyomov: Invocations Lydia Davydova/Mark Pekarsky/Percussion Ensemble - Olympia
- OCD516 - Vyacheslav Artyomov: Way Various - Olympia
- OCD 515 – Vyacheslav Artyomov: Elegies - Olympia
- MFCD 903 – Vyacheslav Artyomov: Gurian Hymn, Incantation, Way to Olympus - Mobile Fidelity
- MFCD 918 – Vyacheslav Artyomov: Songs, Hymns and Dreams – Mobile Fidelity
- 74321 56261 2 – Vyacheslav Artyomov: Lamentations, Gurian Hymn, Tristia I, Way to Olympus – BMG
- SLR0027 - Astreya (Artyomov, Gubaidulina, Suslin)- Solyd Records
Artëmov, Vjačeslav; V. Mud'jugina (2004): Vjačeslav Artëmov. Muzyka, Moskau. ISBN 5-7140-0177-X. [Booklet, Russian and English]
- McBurney (1992)
- The New Grove dictionary of music and musicians.Vol.2.London.2001
- The International Who's Who in Classical Music 2003. Europa Publications.London.2003
- Andreas Kloth (2009): Der russische Komponist Vjačeslav Artëmov: Ein Beispiel für die politisch und gesellschaftlich bedingte Rezeption nonkonformistischer sowjetischer Komponisten. Die Blaue Eule, Essen. ISBN 3-89924-244-0
- Gerard McBurney “Vyacheslav Artyomov” in Contemporary Composers (Chicago & London: St. James Press, 1992)
- Robert Matthew-Walker (1997): The music of Vyacheslav Artyomov: an introduction. St Austell. ISBN 1-898343-06-3
- M. John. Auf dem Wege zu einer neuen Geistigkeit. Verlag Ernst Kuhn. Berlin.1996
- M. Tarakanov. Vyacheslav Artyomov in search of artistic truth. In: Tsenova, Valeria. Underground Music from the USSR. Harwood Academic Publishers. Amsterdam. 1997
- CD Composer's home page
- Foundation for Spiritual Creation – Composer's new homepage