B i o g r a p h y
Loris Ohannes Chobanian
Professor Emeritus of Composition and Guitar as well as Composer-in-Residence at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory, Loris Ohannes Chobanian was born to Armenian parents in the Middle East. He was introduced to serious music at an early age. His father Ohannes Chobanian, an oil engineer and an amateur musician, was a versatile performer on the piano, the flute and the violin. He composed an operetta “O, Loris!” which the 5 year old Loris sang in the city of Kirkuk. The elder Chobanian conducted the orchestra. In the 1950’s Chobanian performed the Classical Guitar regularly on Baghdad TV. And after 1960 he performed on TV in Louisiana and in Michigan.
Chobanian was instrumental in establishing the BW Conservatory Guitar and Composition programs as well as the Focus Contemporary Music Festival. In 1973, as the first ASTA Guitar Division Chairman, he organized the ASTA Guitar Convention that brought together for the first time, university and college guitar teachers. The convention became the model that has been replicated by the annual GFA Conventions.
Winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize he has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Akron. An expert conductor, he often conducts his own compositions as guest composer with university, high school and professional orchestras. In 2011, his compositions were performed at the Zwolle Festival in Holland and also in Italy. On January 27, 2011, the BW Symphonic Wind Ensemble presented the world premiere of his In Search of Global Harmony in seven movements. The composition represents the music of seven countries - China, India, Russia, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Ireland and Spain.