Tigran Mansurian was born in Beirut in 1939. In 1947 his family moved to Armenia, finally settling in the capital Yerevan in 1956. Mansurian studied at the Yerevan Music Academy and completed his PhD at the Komitas State Conservatory where he later taught contemporary music analysis. In a short time he became one of Armenia's leading composers, establishing strong creative relationships with international performers and composers such as Valentin Silvestrov, Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, André Volkonsky and Edison Denisov as well as Kim Kashkashian, Jan Garbarek, and the Hilliard Ensemble. Mansurian was the director of the Komitas Conservatory in the 1990s. He has recently retired as an administrator and teacher, and concentrates exclusively on composition. Mansurian's musical style is characterized mainly by the organic synthesis of ancient Armenian musical traditions and contemporary European composition methods. His oeuvre comprises orchestral works, seven concerti for strings and orchestra, sonatas for cello and piano, three string quartets, madrigals, chamber music and works for solo instruments.