Long considered the dean of contemporary Armenian composers, Edvard Mirzoyan (Էդվարդ Միրզոյան) was born in Gori, Georgia, on May 12, 1921. Initially schooled in music in Yerevan and graduated from the Komitas State Conservatory, Mirzoyan went on to Moscow to further refine his art. In late 1956 he was elected president of the Armenian Composers’ Union, a position he held until 1991. He is currently a professor of composition at the Komitas State Conservatory, and president of the Peace Foundation of Armenia.
Mirzoyan’s compositional output is relatively small but quite distinguished, combining graceful lyricism with intense drama. With its formal structure and tonal design, his style has been described as Neoclassical, with elements of Armenian folksong always present. Mirzoyan’s String Quartet, Cello Sonata, Symphony for Strings and Timpani, and Epitaph for String Orchestra have become notable additions to the international music repertoire.