Aram Khachaturyan – Soviet composer
Aram Khachaturyan was one of the greatest composers of the XX century. You know, 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). Khachaturyan wanted to know the whole world. He was invited by the Queen of Belgium Elizabeth, was welcomed by the revolutionary Che Guevara, he was introduced to the idol of intellectuals Ernest Hemingway – and all this was due to his outstanding talent in music.
Aram Khachatryan was born in the village near Tiflis on May 24, 1903, and grew up in this noisy and cheerful city filled with folk music of Armenian, Georgian and Russian musicians. Since childhood he spoke three languages Armenian, Georgian and Russian. And it was quite natural. He listened to his mother’s Armenian songs, the Georgian polyphony sounded on the street, the sounds of Russian romances were heard from the parks. In this atmosphere, the child wanted to sing and play. Since childhood he was in love with music, played piano, bugle and tuba at school. However, his parents did not approve of his hobby.
At the age of 18 Aram went to Moscow, where his elder brother Suren Khachaturian, a theater director, lived and worked for a long time. In the capital the young man entered the Moscow University, the Faculty of Biology. But the very atmosphere of the capital – a musical and cultural center, where you could attend symphony concerts, listen to operas, attend Mayakovsky’s performances, filled his life with music again. So, a year later he left the university and entered the Gnesin Musical College. Teachers were amazed by his musical memory, a sense of rhythm and inability to play any of the musical instruments. Mikhail Gnesin helped the talented student.
To tell the truth, Aram didn’t have enough money and had to work as a loader, then as a tutor. Later he taught music in kindergarten. Communication with young children gave Aram great pleasure. At the same time, he began to compose, so brightly that his plays could be given to professionals.
Already in the student years there were suites and concerts. The trio for clarinet and violin was highly praised by S. Prokofiev, who took it to France.
In 1933 Aram married his classmate, the future composer Nina Vladimirovna Makarova. It was a happy union, in which their son Karen was born. The family was full of mutual understanding and absolute harmony.
In the same year, a festive and colorful Dance Suite for a symphony orchestra was performed.
Before the war Khachaturyan wrote the ballet Happiness. The libretto was not very successful, so later in cold Perm he created a new work called Gayane. By that time, he was a recognized composer. For his music for the drama Masquerade and for the comedy The Valencian Widow he was awarded the Order of Lenin. The ballet Gayane was staged by the collective of the theater named after Kirov in 1942. Sabre Dance from this ballet brought the composer worldwide fame and Joseph Stalin liked it very much.
In 1944, Aram Ilyich composed the Second, Military symphony, and also completed the violin concert, the first performer of which was David Oistrakh. In 1944 he created the national anthem of Armenia.
What is more, he composed music for more than 20 movies. The music of the composer sounds in the films 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.
By 1954, he completed work on the ballet Spartacus, and its premiere took place two years later in Leningrad. But full-scale ballet was staged only in 1968 on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater.
In the 60s, along with creative work Aram Ilyich taught at the Moscow Conservatory.
He did not refuse foreign business trips and met with Charlie Chaplin, Herbert von Karajan, even with the Pope. Moreover, he was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor in 1973. Aram Ilyich was an honorary member of the Italian Academy of Music, a professor at the Mexican Conservatory, a corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR. Such a tense life affected the composer’s health. His condition was aggravated by the illness and death of his beloved wife in 1976.
Great composer died on May 1, 1978 in Moscow and was buried in Yerevan.