Aram Berberian-Datev

composer, pianist, conductor, arranger

3.12.1926 – 21.04.2011Varna - Bulgaria

Aram Berberian-Datev studied Piano and Composition under Professor Pancho Vladigerov at the State Academy of Music and graduated in 1956. In 1952 he attended courses of composition and theoretical problems on the Armenian music, given by the visiting composer Aram Hachaturian. As a student, he played actively with different instrumentalists; he founded vocal ensembles and worked as accompanist of amateur choirs, etc. He worked with the Armenian organisation as accompanist and assistant conductor of the Erevan Choir in Sofia (1951-55). After his graduation, he worked with choral and theatre groups in Shumen, Varna, Dobrich, Silistra, Popovo, Devnia, etc.
In 1962 he was appointed Music Director of the National Navy House of Culture. He founded there a symphony and pop orchestra and continued composing music for the theatres in Varna and Dobrich. In 1970 he returned to Varna and continued his activity as head of the ensembles at the Mayakovsky House of Culture (up to 1985). In 1985 he began working as musicologist at the Music Directorate and founded the Brass Formation – Varna ’86 (1986-88). Since 1988-89 he focused on composing and frequently visited Germany. There his last opuses appeared, as well as new versions of earlier vocal cycles after lyrics by the German poetess Silvia Scheil. He won international recognition, prizes, distinctions and nominations as a composer, conductor and pedagogue.

He composed 1 operetta; 1 ballet-performance; music to pop-satire performances; cantatas and oratorios, orchestral opuses; vocal cycles and songs; instrumental music, music to theatre performances; pop songs for Varna after lyrics by Sevov, Stoev, etc., children’s choral cycles and songs, etc.


Stage music:
At the Fountain – operetta after text by Zaryan (1953-55).

The Beginning – 681, a ballet-performance. Libretto and verses At. Stoev. Script and director’s plan Stefan Yordanov, ballet master (1986-90).

Children’s musicals:
Adventures from Wednesday to Saturday;
Nobody Knows Who and Why;
Tale About Tsar Saltan (1972-76).
“A Tale of Friendship” – a musical for children and adults (2005-2006).

Choral-orchestral works:
Glory to Armenia – ode for mixed choir and orchestra, after lyrics by Isaakyan (1945-46); Tavig Sasunsky – symphonic legend for reader, soloist, choir and orchestra after Bohasyan;
Song about Liberty – cantata for reader, soloist, mixed choir and orchestra after Sevov (1958-59);
Wedding Song – ritual program suite for male voices choir and big instrumental ensemble after Sevov (1981).

For voice and symphony orchestra:
Dialogue with the Sea – symphonic poem for reader, soloist and orchestra, text by Atanas Stoev (1980).

Works for symphony orchestra:

N1 Commemorative (symphony-poem) (1996-97);
N2 Germany (1997-98);
Chronicle Bulgaria 1300 (symphony-fantasia) (1977-79);
Overture-Poem (1986-90).
“Festive shout “Thoughts about Bulgaria” – Overture-Rhapsody on verses by At. Stoev – for reader and symphony orchestra (2005-2009).

trumpet and piano (1952);
violin (in memory of Pancho Vladigerov) (1998-99).
Rhapsodic Ballad for piano and orchestra (1964, second version 1997).
Heroic Rhapsodic Ballade for Piano and Orchestra (two piano accompaniment – revised revised edition) (2009-2010).

Works for string orchestra:
Pictures from the Past – symphony suite for cor anglais and strings (1995-96);

Chamber Music:
String quartet “Sketches” (1967-1972);
Impressions from Karlsheim – three miniatures for flute and piano (1982);
Poem-Prelude for violoncello and piano (1983);
Two sketches “At the Sea-Side” for violin and piano (1984);
Rondo concertante for oboe and piano (1985, second version 1993);
Concerto “E” for clarinet and piano (1986);
Mood – impression-poem for bassoon and piano (1995) .

Vocal cycles:
Three Sea Songs for baritone and piano, lyrics by T. Yordanov (1986-90);
Over the Blue Infinity of the Sea – eight songs for mezzo-soprano and piano, lyrics by Sevov/Scheil;
Roads, Graves and Stations – four songs for soprano and piano, lyrics by Stoev (1995-96).
Two pop songs: Shore – a Magic with Flowers and Sea; Lyric Song, lyrics to both by Scheil.

Choral music:
For mixed choir and piano:

Spring Song (1949).

For children’s choir and piano:

“Song for the Mother Tongue”, text by Alice Kasterian (1953).

Cycle of nine children’s songs for voice, children’s choir and piano (1996-97); Cycle of six children’s songs, lyrics by Scheil (second rearranged version, 1999).

Selected literature on Aram Berberyan-Datev:
Neikov, Neiko. “The Notes of a Fate – A biographical sketch of the composer Aram Berberyan-Datev. “Everything about old Varna” publishing house, BARS-agency, 2000. Publisher: Hadji Lambrin Sotirov / Varna, Bulgaria.