In 2014, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts was opened an exhibition of photographs and personal items belonging to famous American producer of the 1940s George Avakian and his wife, renowned violinist Anahid Ajemian.
In 2016, an exhibition titled “Music for Moderns: The Partnership of George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian” was held at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. It featured covers of music albums of the most famous American jazzmen of the 40s and 50s produced by Avakian. In addition, it involved old newspaper publications and rare live recordings of Anahid Ajemian, including personal items belonging to the American family couple of Armenian descent.
“Perhaps the most important section of the exhibition is a series of concert programs of classical music and jazz devoted to the 1957 cooperative project of Avakian and Ajemyan with Duke Ellington and Dimitri Mitropoulos,” writes Wall Street Journal.
George Avakian (March 15, 1919 – November 22, 2017) was a famous American producer of Armenian descent born in 1919 in Armavir (Russia). Avakian for many years produced jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Benny Goodman, and recorded many of their albums in the studio “Columbia Records”.
Anahid Ajemian (January 26, 1924 – June 13, 2016) was an American violinist of Armenian descent born in 1924 in Manhattan. For many years, she along with her sister Maro Ajemian performed the compositions of contemporary American composers. Anahid Ajemian was also a professor at Columbia University in New York. In the 1940s, the Ajemian sisters founded the “Friends of Armenian Music Committee.”
George Avakian. Excerpt from an exclusive interview.