Short answer: yes
But if you connect your equipment this way, you probably won't be able to work with your HTPC unless the AVR is on and tuned to the HTPC input. Without power to the AVR and the proper input selected, the signal won't travel to the HDTV, so you won't be able to see/manipulate your desktop until you turn the AVR on.
As long as that's ok with you, then the arrangement you've mentioned will work. I personally would prefer to have the option to use an AVR, but not required to do so... but my efforts to use an HDMI Splitter (to the HDTV and the AVR in parallel) have, to-date, been failures.