born in 1926 in Alexandria, Egypt
Garbis Aprikian (born 1926) is a musician from the Armenian Diaspora. He composed many vocal and instrumental works in which Western musical technique (counterpoint, fugue...) marries Armenian melodies. As a performer, Garbis Aprikian has directed for about fifty years the Armenian mixed chorus of Paris Sipan-Komitas. His contribution in the European knowledge of the works of Komitas, Ganatchian or Alemshah is crucial.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1926, Garbis Aprikian took part in the cultural and artistic life of this cosmopolitan city very young. He studied at primary school "Armenian National Boghossian," then the American College. From the age of ten he began a serious musical learning with a student of Pietro Mascagni, the maestro Frapicini who took care of his artistic education: piano, then harmony, counterpoint and fugue.
In 1948, Garbis Aprikian founded the mixed chorus Hamazkaine with which he gave, in Alexandria and in Cairo, a series of concerts. The success encouraged members of the association Houssaper to assign him a scholarship to complete his training in Europe. Garbis Aprikian arrived in Paris where he studied composition and conducting of orchestra at the Ecole Normale of Music with Simone Plé-Caussade, Tony Aubin and Jean Fournet and took a course of musical aesthetics by Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire national. The Armenian mixed chorus then sought him to replace Kourkène Alemshah, conductor and composer of talent gone to middle age.
Since then, his life and work are inseparable from activities of the choir he directs. For the chorus, Garbis Aprikian composes and harmonizes popular melodies and old patriotic songs, more than two hundred religious, profane or folk works.
For the first time in 1991, he was invited by the Armenian authorities to go to Yerevan, where he performed in a concert his own works and those of the composers of the Armenian Diaspora.
The works of Garbis Aprikian
List of works of Garbis Aprikian
- 1989 Medal of Saint Nerces Chenorali by His Holiness Vasken I, Catholicos of all Armenians
- 1993 Medal of Saint Mesrop Machtots by His Holiness Garéguine II Nersissian of the Great House Of Cilicie
- 1994 Medal of Sahak-Mesrop by His Holiness Vasken I, Catholicos of all Armenians
- 1994"Vermeil" Medal of the City of Paris awarded par Mr Jacques Chirac
- 2004 Knight of Arts and Letters
- 2007 Medal of the City of Marseille
- Nouvelles Armenie Magazine forum commentary on Six chants arméniens by Aprikian, accessed 8 February 2010
- Gulbenkian Foundation grant notice, accessed 8 February 2010
- Asbarez Post notice of honour given to Aprikian, accessed 8 February 2010
- Garbis Kaprikian Chorale Sipan-Komitas (Choeur Mixte Arménien de Paris) (French), accessed 8 February 2010