Nunc Dimittis

January 19, 2003

Alan Hovhaness died
on June 21 in Seattle, Washington, at the age of 89. A prolific composer who
embraced melody in an atonal age and drew heavily on music of the East, he was
born in Somerville, Massachusetts on March 8, 1911, and studied at the New
England Conservatory of Music as a pupil of Frederick Converse. From 1948 to
1951 he was on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory of Music, and most
recently served as composer in residence for the Seattle Symphony. He wrote
more than 60 symphonies, 100 chamber pieces, two ballets, dozens of
compositions for solo piano, and hundreds of songs and choral works. His organ
works include Dawn Hymn, Sanahin (Partita) op. 69, Bare November Day, Sonata
op. 352, Sonata op. 382, Sonata No. 2 "The Invisible Sun" op. 356;
works for organ and other instruments: Sonata for Flute and Organ, Sonata for
Oboe and Organ, Sonata for Trumpet and Organ, Sonata for Two Oboes and Organ,
and the Prayer of St. Gregory for Trumpet and Organ.