Alan Hovhaness was an American composer of Armenian-Scottish descent, born on March 8, 1911, in Somerville, Massachusetts. He was interested in music from an early age and started composing when he was just seven years old. Hovhaness studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in the 1930s and later won a scholarship to study with Bohuslav Martinů at Tanglewood. He became increasingly interested in Armenian culture and music in the 1940s and was an organist at the St. James Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, Massachusetts. Hovhaness is known for his use of Armenian modes in his compositions. Some of his notable pieces include his first symphony, Exile Symphony, and his piano concerto Lousadzak. He passed away on June 21, 2000, in Seattle.