(b Fredrikstad, 18 Oct 1924). Norwegian organist and composer. He studied the organ at the Oslo Conservatory and served as the organist of Glemmen Church, Fredrikstad, from 1949 until 1994. He studied composition with Brustad in Oslo, Holmboe in Copenhagen, Copland in Tanglewood and Dallapiccola in Florence. His first works date from 1944, but his breakthrough as a composer came in the mid-1950s. His chamber work Music for Ten Instruments was awarded the Koussevitzky Prize in 1957, and in the following year his Concertino for three trumpets and strings was performed at the ISCM music days in Strasbourg. During his long career Hovland has essayed several musical styles. His point of departure was the late Romantic nationalism still prevalent in Norway immediately after World War II. During the 1950s he was greatly influenced by Hindemith, Stravinsky and Bartók, and from then on the aesthetics and compositional techniques of neo-classicism marked most of his works, especially his concert pieces and his vast output of music written for the Lutheran Church. During the late 1950s he began to develop his personal form of dodecaphony, and his experiences, through the Darmstadt school, of electronic music and aleatory techniques, were also reflected in his works of the first half of the 1960s. Several significant compositions date from this period (Lamenti per orchestra, Magnificat, Varianti per due pianoforti and his Wind Quintet). When neo-romanticism began to dominate the Norwegian musical scene in the late 1960s, Hovland, who even in his most experimental periods favoured euphonious melodic writing, successfully fused elements of all his earlier styles. During the 1980s and 90s he dedicated himself increasingly to sacred music. While his instrumental concertos and chamber music are indeed popular, it is as a composer of church music that he has his present standing among Nordic composers. His output of more than 150 works encompasses almost all genres within the sacred repertory: this includes more than 100 hymns, 50 introits and 60 motets for the ecclesiastical year. As a consequence of this great quantity of work Hovland’s music has appealed to a variety of interpreters and listeners, and he is today one of the most frequently performed of Norwegian composers.
Operas: Brunnen [The Well] (church op, B.K. Wall), 1972; Fange og fri [Captive and Free] (B. Hallquist), 1993
Chbr: Music for 10 Insts, 1957; The Song of Songs, S, vn, pf, perc, 1962; Magnificat, A, a fl, hp, 1964; Varianti per due pianoforti, 1964; Wind Qnt, 1965; Pf Trio, 1977; Variations, ob, pf, 1969; Cantus IV, brass qnt, 1979; Wind Qnt, 1980; Cantus VIII, ob, str qt, 1986
Org: 7 chorale partitas: 1947, 1951, 1959, 1959, 1969, 1975, 1979; Elementa pro organo, 1965; Suite no.2 ‘Job’, 1973; Il canto del mare, 1981; Cantus IX, org, perc, 1986
H.Herresthal: ‘Komponisten og kirkenmusikeren Egil Hovland’, Festskrift til Egil Hovland (Fredrikstad, 1974)
C.Killengreen: ‘Noen synspunkter på Egil Hovlands orkestermusikk’ [Some views about Egil Hovland’s orchestral music], Studia musicologica norvegica, vi (1980), 39–58
P.H.Ostern: ‘Egil Hovlands orgelmusikk’, Studia musicologica norvegica, vii (1981), 141–65
C.M.Jaeger: A Survey of Notable Composers of Organ Music in Norway with Particular Emphasis upon Egil Hovland (diss., U. of Washington, 1984)
H.Herresthal, ed.: Et liv med musikk (Oslo, 1995) [several articles, incl. list of works]
G.H.Johannessen: Egil Hovland: Englene danser på tangentene [The angels are dancing on the keys] (Oslo, 1999)
Hovunts, Gagik (Gedeoni)
(b Yerevan, 1 March 1930). Armenian composer. He first trained as a violinist at the Yerevan Conservatory with Karp Dombayev (1949–54) and then as a composer with Grigor Yegiazarian (1952–7). He later destroyed his early works and the String Quartet, written in 1960, became his op.1. It was awarded a prize in a Moscow Composition Competition in 1963. He taught harmony from 1964 at the Yerevan Conservatory, where he was later appointed professor. He was nominated Honoured Art Worker of Armenia in 1984, the year in which he was commissioned by the publisher Leduc to write a piece for flute and piano. He is involved in the study of harmonic theory; his views are set out in Mïsli o garmonii (‘Thoughts on Harmony’), published in 1995. Although a composer with rationalist views, he does not employ serial methods, preferring instead his own organizational means. By dividing the harmonic series into three segments, three intervallic sets are obtained which are then projected onto independent segments. This system forms the basis of the majority of his works, which largely fall within the genre of invention. Taking the etymology of this word as his starting point, major significance is given to chords based on thirds, ostinatos, symmetrical structures and monothematic development. Allusions to folklore and neo-classicism are also not infrequent.