Yardumian, Richard, American composer; b. Philadelphia (of Armenian parents), April 5, 1917; d. Bryn Athyn, Pa., Aug. 15, 1985. He studied harmony with William Happich, counterpoint with H. Alexander Matthews, piano with George Boyle (1939-41), and later attended Monteux’s conducting school in Hancock, Maine (summer, 1947); received additional musical training from Thomson in N.Y. (1953). His compositions reflect the spirit of Armenian folk songs and religious melodies. A number of his works were first performed by the Philadelphia Orch.
orch: Armenian Suite (1937-54; Philadelphia, March 5, 1954); Symphonic Suite (1939); 3 Pidographs of an Ancient Kingdom (1941); Desolate City (1943-44; Philadelphia, April 6, 1945); Violin Concerto (1949; Philadelphia, March 30, 1950; rev. 1960); 2 syms.: No. 1 (1950; rev., Philadelphia, Dec. 1, 1961) and No. 2, Psalms, for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone and Orch. (1947-64; Philadelphia, Nov. 13, 1964); Epigram: WilliamM. Kincaid for Flute and Strings (1951; also for Flute and String Quartet); Passacaglia, Recitatives and Fugue, piano concerto (1957; Philadelphia, Jan. 3, 1958); Veni sánete Spiritus, chorale prelude for Chamber Orch. (1958); Num. komm der Heiden Heiland, chorale prelude (1978; arranged from an organ piece). CHAMBER : Flute Quintet (1951; arranged for Flute and Strings); Cantus animae et cordis for String Quartet (1955; arranged for Strings, 1955). KEYBOARD: Piano :3 Preludes: Wind (1938), Sea (1936), and Sky (1944; orchestrated 1945); Dance (1942); Chromatic Sonata (1946); Prelude and Chorale (1946). Organ: Various pieces. VOCAL: Create in Me a Clean Heart for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone and Chorus (1962); Magnificat for Women’s Voices (1965); Come Creator Spirit, mass for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone, Chorus, Congregation, and Orch. or Organ (1965-66; N.Y., March 31,1967); The Story of Abraham, oratorio for Soloists, Chorus, Orch., and Film (1968-71; rev. 1973); Narek: Der Asdvadz for Mezzo-soprano, Horn, and Harp (1983); Hrashapar for Chorus, Organ, and Orch. (1984); about 100 chorales for Chorus (1944-85).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire