Alert: Your Libraries are here for you. Learn more about library services during the pandemic.
Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Grant Beglarian papers

 Collection 0323-SCPA
Grant Beglarian (b. Tiflis, Georgia, December 1, 1927; d. White Plains, NY, July 5, 2002) was an Armenian-American composer and music educator. Beglarian moved to the United States in 1947 to study composition at the University of Michigan and received his DMA in 1958. Throughout his career, he wrote for a variety of genres: symphony orchestra, band, chamber groups, solo instruments, and voice. During the 1960s, Beglarian worked for the Ford Foundation, and one of the main projects he oversaw was the Contemporary Music Project for Creativity in Music Education (CMP), serving as the director from 1965-1969. He also participated in the CMP as a composer-in-residence for the Composer in Public Schools (CPS) program. The papers pertain to Beglarian’s work with the CMP and the Ford Foundation.


  • 1951-1999 and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1961-1969

Use and Access to this Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use. All intellectual property rights remain with the creator and his estate and were not transferred at the time of the donation. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.


3.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Grant Beglarian papers span the period from 1951 to 1999; the bulk of the materials date from 1961 to 1969. The collection consists of professional papers pertaining to Beglarian’s work with the CMP including detailed descriptions and goals of the project, scholarly papers, drafts of published articles, speech transcripts, symposium and workshop descriptions, grant proposals, memoranda, correspondence, and statistical data of participants and outcomes. This collection includes materials related to the Music Educators National Conference (now known as the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)) and the Ford Foundation, as well certain individuals associated with these two organizations: Edward D’Arms, William J. Mitchell, Beth Landis, Norman Dello Joio, Bernard Fitzgerald, and Louis G. Wersen.

Biographical Note

Grant Beglarian (b. December 1, 1927; d. July 5, 2002), primarily known as a composer and music educator, was born in Tiflis, Georgia, known today as Tbilisi, the country’s capital. His parents relocated to Georgia to escape the Armenian Genocide carried out by the Ottoman government in 1915. Soon after his birth, he and his parents moved to Iran where he was trained in composition and violin performance at the Royal Conservatory of Tehran. Beglarian came to the United States in 1947 to continue his music education, briefly studying at Boston University before transferring to the University of Michigan, where he studied under Ross Lee Finney until receiving a DMA in 1958. During this time he served in the U.S. Army from 1951-1953 as a violist for the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra. He later studied with Aaron Copland at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in Massachusetts from 1959-1960.

During the 1960s, Beglarian was a field director and project director for the Ford Foundation (1961-1968) and an editor for Prentice-Hall publishers (1961-1969). One of the primary projects he oversaw for the Ford Foundation was the Contemporary Music Project for Creativity in Music Education (CMP), organized by the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) (now the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)). He served as the director of the CMP from 1965-1969. He also participated in the CMP as a composer-in-residence for the Composer in Public Schools (CPS) program. In 1969 Beglarian accepted the position of Dean of Performing Arts at the University of Southern California where he served for the next thirteen years. Beginning in the early 1980s he served as president and CEO of the National Foundation for the Advancement of Arts (1981-1991). In the last decade of his life, right up until his death, Beglarian was the international coordinator and director of global partnerships among educational organizations for the interactive website ThinkQuest. He died of lung cancer at White Plains Hospital near his home in Scarborough, NY.


This collection is organized as a single series.

Custodial History

Gift of Eve Beglarian, daughter of Grant Beglarian, received in one shipment in August 2018.

Related Materials

Related collections available for use at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library:
Grant Beglarian papers
Meghan Creek
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States