The Armenian Music Program at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music provides an in-depth exploration of Armenia’s rich musical heritage, with a focus on its classical traditions. A hallmark of the school’s innovative leadership in music and its commitment to public outreach, through dynamic performances and academic scholarship, the program has evolved into a vibrant educational platform.
Music and Culture
The mission of the Armenian Music Program is to preserve and celebrate Armenian music as an art form. Established in 2013, the Program has presented dozens of outreach performances as well as high-profile public concerts and recordings—including Grammy-nominated Armenian Requiem by Ian Krouse—provided over 30 student scholarships, and built a devoted community of supporters and fans. This Program engages communities of musicians, scholars, and audience members across the UCLA campus, Los Angeles, nationally, and internationally.
Dr. Melissa Bilal is an internationally recognized ethnomusicologist, sociocultural anthropologist, social historian, and the full-time Associate Director of the AMP.
Working jointly, Professor Pogossian and Professor Bilal will take lead in scholarly programming for AMP, enhance research in ethnomusicology, and teach innovative Armenian Music Courses.
AMP’s teaching, outreach, and performance programs.
Recent and Upcoming Events
Armenia | March 22-29, 2023
East Coast | May 9-13, 2023
Hammer Museum | April 19, 2023
More info here.
Revisit the 2022 Hammer Museum Concert
Revisit the 2021 Hammer Museum Concert
Schoenberg Hall and Courtyard | May 2023
VEM Ensemble's International Tour in ARMENIA with guests: Artur Avanesov & Danielle Segen (March '23)
2023 Winner of Annual Tigran Mansurian Composition Competition
Jahan Raymond, 21, picked up piano at the age of 7 and was composing original music by age 8. He took to music quickly from there, and at 11, was commissioned to compose and perform original piano works at charity galas in Hong Kong for Make A Wish and Women Helping Women. Around the same time, he performed with Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan and with Persian pop star Andy Madidian at L.A.’s Greek Theater.Jahan went on to study composition and piano with a large variety of private instructors over the course of the next decade – among them, David Bowie’s former keyboardist Mike Garson, John Perry, Edward Francis, Roza Yoder and UCLA Professors Ian Krouse, Kay Rhie, David Lefkowitz and David Kaplan.He was a three-time piano concerto soloist with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, who also performed his original orchestral piece, Fete Macabre. Additional compositional achievements include being named finalist in the National Young Composers Challenge twice, and spending a year as a fellow of the LA Phil’s Composer’s Fellowship Program. He was then accepted into the UCLA composition program at the age of 16.More recently, Jahan branched out into songwriting and music production, and has collaborated with a variety of independent artists and hip-hop producers. He loves all types of music, and will gladly jam or performing in any situation imaginable. His piece “Montage” for string trio, was selected as the winning submission for the Annual Tigran Mansurian Composition Competition. The UCLA VEM Ensemble will record this work at the Ostin Recording Studio during the 2023 school year.
Explore all recordings here
Following its lauded recent performances in Yerevan, Armenia, the UCLA VEM Ensemble is featured in the newly released CD of Armenian Music, “Modulation Necklace,” by the Naxos-distributed label, New Focus Recordings. Celebrating the aesthetic diversity of the post-Soviet era Armenian music, the CD highlights a selection of works from distinguished contemporary Armenian composers Artur Avanesov, Ashot Zohrabyan, Michel Petrossian, and Artashes and Ashot Kartalyan. Along with the VEM Ensemble, Modulation Necklace also features internationally renowned musicians Scott St. John, Antonio Lysy, Varty Manouelian, Movses Pogossian, Katisse Buckingham, Dustin Donahue, as well as UCLA alumni Charles Tyler and Niall Ferguson.
Dan Lippel, President of New Focus Recordings, praised the album. “Violinist Movses Pogossian has assembled this illuminating collection of contemporary music from Armenia…revealing a vibrant repertoire whose aesthetics are as outward-looking as they are grounded in their reverence of centuries-old culture.” Highlighting the best of contemporary Armenian Composers, “Modulation Necklace” is a true celebration of Armenian music as an art form and a testament to the rich history and heritage which it tributes. The UCLA VEM ensemble’s participation in the album is a significant achievement, which upholds the noble mission of the Armenian Music Program.
Proceeds of this CD will benefit the UCLA Armenian Music Program.
The CD is available on Amazon and Apple Music.
Critical praise of Modulation Necklace
Newsletter: Modulation Necklace
Community Outreach Partners and Learning Resources
With a mission to engage the community and expand the reach of Armenian music, this program relies on partners at UCLA and beyond. The following partners help this program reach a larger audience and provide philanthropic resources that support this program’s ongoing activities: