Edward Hosharian

Ed Hosharian playing the dhol.

Ed Hosharian playing the shivi.

Ed Hosharian playing the kamantcha.

Ed speaks at Sara Chitjian’s In Service Program

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Ed Hosharian’s Bio

  Edward Hosharian was born on May 26, 1940 in Kiev, Russia, the son of Ahot Tsukurian and Katia Abrahamian.  His Father, a soldier in the Soviet Army, was killed in an air raid during World War II when Ed was only two years old.  Because of the Nazi advance into Russia, his family was forced to leave the country in 1943 where they fled to Stuttgart, Germany, and were relocated to the displaced persons camps for Armenians.

    In 1949, Ed and his family migrated to the United States where they settled in Philadelphia.  While there, he attended Girard College,  a private boarding school, and went on to study music at the Philadelphia Conservatory majoring in piano and composition.  In1959, Ed moved to Los Angeles, attended the California Institute of the Arts, and eventually earned both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music form California State University Los Angeles.

    A life long career in Armenian music began when Ed joined the Sevan Band as a clarinetist in 1963.  After a brief stint in the in the U.S. Army, he married Catherine Alekian in 1965.

    When he formed the Ed Hosharian Band in 1968, he became totally immersed in presenting the rich Armenian Folk music repertoire to the Southern California community both in concert and in celebration; he took great pride in claiming that he helped over one thousand couples celebrate their nuptials.

    Ed’s musical achievements are exemplified by a prolific output of musical compositions, including hundreds of arrangements for orchestra and various instruments, as well as concerts and numerous recordings.

    He established the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in order to secure and promote the rich treasury of Armenian music.  In 1974, Ed was engaged to write a ballet version of the opera, Anoush, and that same year recorded the ballet with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Beirut.  The 50 piece symphony orchestra integrated several Armenian folk instruments which were employed in this manner for the first time.  The ballet received its premiere in New York the following year.

    In 1979, Ed and the orchestra performed a special concert paying tribute to one of his musical heroes, Aram Khatchaturian.  Khatchaturian’s Symphony No. 3 was premiered during this concert, a work which required 15 solo trumpeters, pipe organ, and orchestra.

    Many organizations commissioned him to write or produce major concerts, the most memorable of which was a production of his concert version of the opera Anoush which he arranged and directed.  A Los Angeles Times music critic wrote,  “Anoush was heard in a version arranged by Edward Hosharian who expertly conducted the opera and the preceding six orchestral pieces by Ippolitov-Ivanov, Hosharian, Edgar Hovanessian and Arno Babajanian.”  For the occasion of the 65thanniversary of the massacre of the Armenians by the Turkish government, he wrote the score for the film documentary, The Armenian Case.

    Although his musical associations included Zubin Mehta, Dmitri Rostropovich, Edgar Hovannissian, Varujan Kojian and other prominent musicians, Ed never lost sight of his personal interest in helping young musicians with the development of their careers.

    As an educator he taught music at Roosevelt High School since 1966 where he was also director of the marching band.  He lectured extensively at the college level on Ethnomusicology, focusing on Armenian and Mid-Eastern music, the instruments, dance and composers of that genre.  He also enjoyed musical critique and several of his articles were published in various Los Angeles newspapers.  Ed was very active in Armenian cultural affairs to which he gave his untiring attention and loyalty, exceeded only by his devotion to his family.  He was regarded by many as a leader in the Armenian community, dividing his time equally between his own Armenian Catholic parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, and that of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Cross Church.  In addition, he devoted his time and efforts to orchestrating, organizing and performing functions for the Armenian Mesrobian School, Homenetmen, AYF, and several other Armenian clubs and organizations.

    Ed survived by his wife, Catherine, and their children, Peter, Tania and Greg; his mother, Katia Abrahamian;  and his mother-in-law, Margarita Alekian, with whom he and his family lived until his death.

    Edward Hosharian passed away on June 4, 1990, after a trying battle with cancer, strengthened by the power of the Sacraments.  He will be remembered by his many friends and colleagues who admired his musical virtuosity and courageous spirit.

Traditional Armenian Instruments

Traditional Armenian Musical Ensemble

The Duduk is a wind instrument that is unique to Armenian culture

The Kanun is commonly found among traditional Armenian Folk music ensembles.

The Oud

The Saz

The Kamantcha

The Tar