born on 26/1/1924 in Brooklyn, NY, United States
died on 13/6/2016 in Manhattan, NY, United States
Anahid Ajemian (born January 26, 1924, New York) is an American violinist of Armenian extraction. Ajemian's career in contemporary music got its impetus from the desire to help young composers of her generation have their compositions performed. Additionally, she enjoyed performing the music of established contemporary performers. She included these composers with the traditional repertoire.
Anahid had her musical training at The Juilliard School in New York City, from early childhood.
Beginning in the 1940s, Ajemian did much to promote the work of American composers, giving frequent performances of new compositions together with her sister, the pianist Maro Ajemian, and touring the United States, Canada, and Europe. Among the composers who wrote for them are John Cage, Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, Ernst Krenek, Lou Harrison, Wallingford Riegger, Carlos Surinach, and Ben Weber. Anahid and Maro Ajemian were the first instrumentalists to receive the Laurel Leaf Award from the American Composers Alliance, for their "distinguished service to American music."
In 1946, Anahid received the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Foundation award. Also during the 1940s, the two co-founded the New York City-based organization Friends of Armenian Music Committee, which did much to launch the career of fellow Armenian American composer Alan Hovhaness, via a series of well received New York concerts of his music. Anahid was also a founding member of The Composers Quartet with Matthew Raimondi.
Ajemian was a member of the violin faculty at Columbia University. She is married to George Avakian, a record producer and founding officer of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. They have three children; Maro, Anahid and Gregory.
- TIME - The Armenian Sisters
- Anahid Ajemian biography