Composer Mansurian studied composition with Edvard Bagdasarian at the Romanos Melikian College of Music in Yerevan from 1956-60, and with Lazarus Sarian at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory from 1960-65, with whom he continued his post-graduate studies from 1965-67.
His creative efforts were well received from the very beginning of his career, evidenced by the fact that he won two First prizes in the All-Union Competition in Moscow (c. 1966, for Partita; c. 1968, for Four Hayrens).
He taught modern music theory at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory from 1967-86, and served rector of the Conservatory from 1992 to 1995.
Mansurian is recognized as one of the forerunners of contemporary music in the former USSR, being the first to introduce modern composition techniques in Armenia.
His compositions have been performed to great acclaim in London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Moscow, Warsaw, Zagreb, New York, Los Angeles, and other musical capitals of the world. Pierre Boulez spoke highly of his composition “Intérieur” when it was performed at IRCAM in Paris in 1984.
Mansurian’s compositions are an interesting mixture of Armenian art music and folk traditions, with bright, expressive melodies and exquisite, impressionistic tone color. His works may be grouped into five categories:
- Instrumental chamber music (concertos, sonatas, etc., for piano, strings, and horns),
- Vocal music (both choral and solo), with and without instrumental accompaniment,
- Symphonic music (for both full-scale orchestras and chamber orchestras),
- Program music (for motion pictures and stage plays), and
He has lived in Armenia since 1947.