Jean Ter-Merguerian

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Jean Ter-Merguerian
Jean Ter-Merguerian (violinist).png
in concert, 1970s
Background information
Birth nameJean Ter-Merguerian
Also known asMerguirian / Mergherian / Mergerian / Mergerjan
Born(1935-10-05)5 October 1935
Marseille, France
Died29 September 2015(2015-09-29) (aged 79)
Marseille, France
Occupation(s)Violinist, pedagogue
Years active1946–2015

Jean Ter-Merguerian (Armenian: Ժան Տեր-Մերկերյան; Marseille, 5 October 1935 – Marseille, 29 September 2015) was a French-Armenian virtuoso violinist and violin pedagogue.[1][2][3]


Jean Ter-Merguerian has got the first prize for violin at the Marseille Conservatoire at the age of 11. In the same year, his first recital took place, where he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor and Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor. He continued his musical studies in Yerevan with Prof. Karp Dombayev and then in the Moscow Conservatory in the class of David Oistrakh. Jean Ter-Merguerian is a prizewinner of international violin competitions, such as Prague Spring (1956), Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Queen Elisabeth in Bruxelles (1963). He also got the first Grand Prix at the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris (1961).[4] He taught in the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory having simultaneously multiple concerts in ex-USSR, Western Europe, Lebanon,[5] South America, the United States, and Canada.

In 1975, during his USA tour, he played in Boston the Violin Concerto by Brahms; The story goes that, at the conclusion of the concert, the conductor Arthur Fiedler, who was very hard to please and given to lavishing praise, embraced the young violinist on stage with paternal love and wished him success. This was the ringing endorsement of the talent of Jean Ter Merguerian, who had just given his first performance in the United States.

His solo performances were accompanied by orchestras of different countries conducted by famous conductors, also Aram Khachaturian having conducted his own violin concerto. Jean Ter-Merguerian is a member of juries of international competitions: "Paganini" in Italy, "Sarasate" in Spain, "Tchaikovsky" in Moscow and "Khachaturian"[6] in Yerevan. Leaved in France, giving master classes there and abroad. He played on a Nicolò Amati violin. Jean Ter-Merguerian died of cancer, after a long illness at his home, in Marseille, on 29 September 2015.[7] He is survived by his wife, the pianist Lilia, his son Vagram and his daughter.

The most important thing for a performer is to penetrate into the soul of the composer, to be able to “read” his emotions...
(Jean Ter-Merguerian)


  • Jean Ter-Merguerian - L'Âme du violon (Ջութակի հոգին / Violin's soul), 176 pages, 2012, Armenian, Russian, French | ISBN 978-9939-0-0463-1

Quotes from colleagues (in original language)[edit]

Fais très attention à ce que je vais te dire. Vois tu, la beauté possède en elle un grand danger. Pouvoir la faire exister, la fréquenter souvent, passer devant régulièrement, c'est le danger de s'y habituer, de finir par ne plus la voir, de passer devant avec indifférence, fais toujours attention à cela...
(Jean Ter-Merguerian, 1989)
  • „J'ai une grande admiration pour Jean. Sa sonorité, sa technique et sa musicalité sont parfaites. ...C'est un très grand artiste, un violoniste sensationnel...“ (Zino Francescatti)
  • „Le violoniste le plus doué de sa génération.“ (Henryk Szeryng)
  • „Jean Ter-Merguerian n'est pas seulement un grand violoniste, il est un grand artiste.“ (Christian Ferras)
  • „La pus belle technique d'archet du monde tout instrument à corde confondu.“ (Mstislav Rostropovitch)
  • „Jean Ter-Merguerian is a gentleman among violinists. He has extraordinary technical skills and a deep musicality.“ (Jonathan Dove, The Strad)


No official recital and concerts recordings by Jean Ter-Merguerian exists. Only two CD-Rs of live and archive broadcast material have been released (CD-R 1 : "Selection from Performances" / CD-R 2 : "Khachaturian 100th").[8] The 1966 Armenian Radio broadcast recording of Bach Double Concerto is part of a 2CDs compilation dedicated to his colleague, the violinist Anahit Tsitsikian. In 1999 Jean Ter-Merguerian recorded his only commercial release: Gérard Gasparian's Violin Sonata (1990), with the composer himself at the piano (CD Timpani 1C1055).[9] Armenian Radio TV archives are full of Jean Ter-Merguerian's recordings, yet to be discovered.

Live, private, radio TV archives, uncommercial[edit]

composer work orchestra / conductor / accompanist rec. info source note
Bach, Johann Sebastian Chaconne, in D minor, BWV 1004 violin solo live(1) CD-R 1
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Rondò (Serenade No.7 "Haffner" KV 250) Zemphira Barseghian, piano live(2) CD-R 1
Beethoven, Ludwig van Violin Concerto Op.61, II. Larghetto Armenian State Symphony O. / Loris Tjeknavorian, cond. live(3) CD-R 1 recording of 1st and 3rd mvmt. is probably lost
Beethoven, Ludwig van Violin Concerto Op.61, III. Rondò (Allegro) ORTF / Louis Fourestier, cond. (prize winner concert of the Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud Competition) live Paris, 27 June 1961 VIDEO
interview ORTF interview at the "1st Grand Prize", Jean Ter-Merguerian, with Henryk Szeryng (Jury member) after Prize winners Concert of the 9th Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud Competition live Paris, 27 June 1961 VIDEO
Sarasate, Pablo de Habanera, Op.21/2 (Spanish Dance No.2) Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano studio(4) CD-R 1
Sarasate, Pablo de Romanza andaluza, Op.22/1 (Spanish Dance No.3) Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano studio(4) CD-R 1
Sarasate, Pablo de Capricho vasco (Caprice Basque), Op.24 Zemphira Barseghian, piano live(2) CD-R 1
Scott, Cyril Lotus Land, Op.47 No.1 Zemphira Barseghian, piano studio(5) CD-R 1
Szymanowski, Karol La Fontaine d'Arethousa, Op.30 No.1 ("Mythes") Zemphira Barseghian, piano studio(5) CD-R 1
Prokofiev, Sergei Masks ("Romeo and Juliet", Suite Op.75) arr. Jascha Heifetz Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano studio(6) CD-R 1
Khachaturian, Aram Ayshe's Dance ("Gayane", Ballet Suite No.2) Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano studio(6) CD-R 1
Komitas Keler tsoler (Striding, Beaming), arr. Aram Shamshyan Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano live(7) CD-R 1
Komitas Akh Maral jan (Ah, Dear Maral), arr. Aram Shamshyan Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano live(7) CD-R 1
Komitas Groong (The Crane) violin solo live(8) CD-R 1
Sibelius, Jean Violin Concerto, in D minor Op.47, II. Adagio di molto Armenian State Symphony O. / Michael Malountian, cond. live 1970s I & III recording probably lost
Khachaturian, Aram Violin Concerto, in D minor (1940) Armenian State Symphony O. / Michael Malountian, cond. radio(9) CD-R 2
Khachaturian, Aram Dance in B-flat Major, Op.1 Nelli Daniel-Bek, piano studio(6) CD-R 2
Khachaturian, Aram Violin Concerto, in D minor (1940) URSS State Symphony O. / Aram Khachaturian, cond. live, 1970s recording probably lost
Bach, Johann Sebastian Double Concerto for 2 violins, in D minor, BWV 1043 Anahit Tsitsikian (I), Jean Ter-Merguerian (II) / Armenian Radio TV Symphony O. / Raphael Mangassarian, cond live, 1966 CD [10][11]
Brahms, Johannes Violin Concerto, in D major Op.77 Boston Symphony O. / Arthur Fiedler, cond. live, 13 June 1975
Khachaturian, Aram Violin Concerto, in D minor (1940) Erevan Symphony O. / Loris Tjeknavorian, cond. late 1970s VIDEO recording of 2nd movement only
Gasparian, Gérard Violin Sonata (1990) Gérard Gasparian, piano studio, 1999 CD Timpani 1C1055


  1. ^ interview with Jean Ter-Merguerian, Asparez, 17 April 2013.
  2. ^ AVproduction, Jean Ter-Merguerian, violinist - photo gallery
  3. ^ Armenian Celebrities: Jean Ter-Merguerian, violinist
  4. ^ Prize Long-Thibaud - First great prize (1961), Jean Ter-Merguerian - Russia
  5. ^ Chance to witness brilliance of a violinist from the old school, The Daily Star, Lebanon News, February 25, 2000
  6. ^ Jury members Archived 2014-04-26 at the Wayback Machine., "Aram Khachaturian Competition", 2005
  7. ^ SAD NEWS | French-Armenian Violinist Jean Ter-Merguerian Has Died
  8. ^ YouTube playlist: Jean Ter-Merguerian Legacy
  9. ^ CD review, Gwyn Parry Jones (MusicWeb International)
  10. ^ The Art of Anahit Tsitsikian, CD 1 & 2
  11. ^ by "Anahit Tsitsikian Cultural Foundation" Archived 2009-11-30 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]