Aram Khachaturyan – Soviet composer
Aram Khachaturyan was a Soviet composer, conductor, public figure, teacher. Khachaturyan is one of the greatest composers of the XX century. He is the author of 3 ballets, 3 symphonies, 6 concerts, a huge number of vocal, choral, instrumental and program music, music for films and theater productions, as well as music of the Armenian National SSR Hymn (1944). He was Hero of Socialist Labor (1973), People’s Artist of the USSR (1954). He was awarded the Lenin Prize (1959), four Stalin Prizes (1941, 1943, 1946, 1950), the USSR State Prize (1971) and the State Prize of the Armenian SSR (1965). In 1963 Aram became Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR. From 1951 to 1978 he was a professor of the Moscow State Conservatory. In 1965, Khachaturyan was awarded a title of Doctor of Arts.
Aram Ilyich Khachaturyan (Khachatryan) was born on May 24 (June 6), 1903 in the village near the city of Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Russian Empire. He was the fourth son in the family. Since childhood he was in love with music, played piano, bugle and tuba at school. However, his parents did not approve of his hobby, and he was seriously engaged in music only at the age of 19.
In 1921, 18-year-old Khachaturian, along with a group of Armenian youths, came to Moscow, where his elder brother Suren Khachaturian, a theater director, lived and worked for a long time. He entered the Moscow University and became a student of the biological department of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty. But a year later he left the university and entered the Gnesin Musical College. Mikhail Gnesin drew attention to the gifted student and helped him. In those same years Khachaturian was at the symphony concert for the first time in his life and was shocked by the music of Beethoven and Rachmaninov. Dance for Violin and Piano was the first work of the composer.
In 1929 Khachaturian graduated from the college and entered the Moscow Conservatory. In 1934 he graduated with honors from the Conservatory. During his student years he composed Song-poem for violin and piano (1929), Suite for viola and piano (1929), famous virtuoso Toccata for piano (1932), trio for piano, violin and clarinet 1932).
Sabre Dance from ballet Gayane brought the composer worldwide fame. Joseph Stalin liked Sabre Dance very much.
During the Great Patriotic War Aram Khachaturyan worked at the All-Union Radio, wrote patriotic songs and marches.
The ballet Spartacus became Khachaturyan’s greatest work after the war. It was completed in 1954, and in December 1956 the premiere took place.
At the same time Khachaturyan worked in the theater and cinema; he composed music to more than 20 movies.
In the last years of his life Khachaturyan composed three solo sonatas for stringed instruments: violins, viola and cello, he became the author of the music of the Armenian SSR Hymn in 1944.
Since 1950, Aram Khachaturian often acted as a conductor, and toured in many cities of the USSR and abroad with great success.
Aram Khachaturyan died on May 1, 1978 in Moscow and was buried in Yerevan.
The music of the composer sounds in the films 2001: The Cosmic Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, Caligula by Tinto Brass, The Hudsucker Proxy by the Coen brothers, Aliens by James Camaron, Oldboy by South Korean director Chan-wook Park and others.