On the Occasion of the 175th Anniversary of his Birth
Anna G. Asatryan
T. Chukhajyan, who had received formal musical training and mastered completely the technique of European composing was among the first Eastern musician who tried to find a way of bringing Eastern and Western musical culture closer together; he brought his own Eastern musicality to the complicated genres of opera, symphony and chamber music.
T. Chukhajyan placed the foundations of the Armenian classical professional school of composing. He authored the first examples of Armenian romance, i.e. “Karun,” “Lora,” and the first piano opuses in Armenian reality.
T. Chukhajyan was the founder of the Armenian musical theater. It was through his activity that the beginnings of Armenian musical theater in the second half of the 19th century were conditioned. Not only did he set the foundations for Armenian operatic music, but with his six operas, the historical romance, “Arshak II,” the triad of comedic operas, “The Cunning of Arif,” “Kyose Kehyan,” and “The Father and Son Leblebij,” the patriotic “Indiana,” the mythological “Zemyre,” he set into motion the first stage in the development of Armenian musical theater.
The creation of the first Armenian opera was accompanied by the creation of the musical theater. T. Chukhajyan understood the necessity for a national theater of opera in the 1870s. The “Ottoman Opera Theater Group,” under the leadership of T. Chukhajyan and T. Galemjyan, was the first musical theater group composed completely of Armenian artists in Armenian reality (the theater group was the first in the entire Middle East). They had the monopoly in directing the musical productions.
The author places great importance on the production of T. Chukhajyan’s operas at the A. Spendiaryan National Opera and Ballet Theater, the establishment of the Tigran Chukhajyan Museum in Yerevan and also the publication of the composer’s complete collection of works.