Nicol Galanderian

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Nikol Galanderian

Nicol Galanderian (Armenian: Նիկոլ Գասպարի Գալանդերյան (also Nikol), September 7, 1881 - March 2, 1944) was a noted composer of Armenian music and is especially known for vocal, choral and children's works whose primary source of inspiration is folk music and urban folksong.

Life and career[edit]

Born 7 September 1881 in Akn, historical Armenia – present-day Kemaliye – to a shoemaker's family, Nicol Galanderian lost most of his family in the Turkish massacres of 1894-96. He, his mother Eva and a brother survived.

In 1900 Galanderian began studies under the noted Armenian composer Komitas Vardapet at the Gevorgian Seminary. He studied with Vardapet for two years, becoming familiar with Armenian church music and the Armenian notational system. He studied the violin and guitar on his own and continued to explore music theory. In 1910 he accepted a teaching position in Tiflis, Georgia, and in 1911 began his composing career with his first composition based on a text of Avedik Isahagian Yerger ou verker ("Songs and Wounds"). With the recognition of his work came an invitation to teach at the Hykazian School in Tehran, Iran, where he lived and composed the rest of this life. In Tehran, he organized and conducted the "Goghtan" choir, an Armenian choir that performed many of his works.

In 1913 he wrote a children's opera and, beginning in 1924, many other compositions for children. Many of his works draw upon Armenian poetry and writings. His works draw upon the poetry of Vahan Terian, Hovhannes Toumanian, Avetik Isahakyan and others. His work includes the operas Parvana (a lake in Georgia), Hovik ("Breeze") and Lalvari vors ("Lalvar's Prey"). His compositions and manuscripts are in the archives of the State Museum of Art and Literature in Yerevan, Armenia.

He continued his compositional career until his death on 2 March 1944.


Janet D. Lazarian (2003). Encyclopedia of Iranian Armenians. Tehran: Hirmand Publisher. p. 386. ISBN 964-6974-50-3.