Dr. Grant Beglarian was born on December 1, 1927 in Tiflis, Georgia, Russia. His parents soon moved to Iran, where he began musical studies as a violist and composer in the Royal Conservatory of Music in Tehran. He came to the United States in 1947 and received his education at Boston University, the University of Michigan (BM, MM), and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Massachusetts. Serving in the U.S. Army in 1952-54, he was a member of the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra. He went on to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Rackham School of the University of Michigan in 1958. His principal teachers were Ross Lee Finney and Aaron Copland.
Among his early honors was the 1959 George Gershwin Memorial Award which entailed a performance by the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. He also received grants and awards from the Ford Foundation, ASCAP and Phi Mu Alpha.
Dr. Beglarian wrote for symphony orchestra, band, chamber groups, solo instruments and voice. His music has been performed by such groups as the Philadelphia Orchestra and symphonies of Detroit, Seattle, and Dallas. He was the Dean of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Southern California (1969-82), director of MENC’s Contemporary Music Project (1965-69), and President and CEO of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (1981-91). He died on July 5, 2002 in White Plains, New York.