He is considered one of the leading Soviet composers. Born and raised in Tbilisi , the multicultural capital of Georgia , Khachaturian moved to Moscow in following the Sovietization of the Caucasus. Without prior music training, he enrolled in the Gnessin Musical Institute , subsequently studying at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Nikolai Myaskovsky , among others. His first major work, the Piano Concerto , popularized his name within and outside the Soviet Union. It was followed by the Violin Concerto and the Cello Concerto

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He is considered one of the leading Soviet composers. Born and raised in Tbilisi , the multicultural capital of Georgia , Khachaturian moved to Moscow in following the Sovietization of the Caucasus.

Without prior music training, he enrolled in the Gnessin Musical Institute , subsequently studying at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Nikolai Myaskovsky , among others. His first major work, the Piano Concerto , popularized his name within and outside the Soviet Union.

It was followed by the Violin Concerto and the Cello Concerto His other significant compositions include the Masquerade Suite , the Anthem of the Armenian SSR , three symphonies , , , and around 25 film scores. Khachaturian is best known for his ballet music— Gayane and Spartacus His most popular piece, the " Sabre Dance " from Gayane , has been used extensively in popular culture and has been covered by a number of musicians worldwide. During most of his career, Khachaturian was approved by the Soviet government and held several high posts in the Union of Soviet Composers from the late s, although he joined the Communist Party only in Along with Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich , he was officially denounced as a "formalist" and his music dubbed "anti-people" in but was restored later that year.

After he taught at the Gnessin Institute and the Moscow Conservatory and turned to conducting. In Khachaturian became the Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers, a position he held until his death.

Khachaturian composed the first Armenian ballet music , symphony, concerto, and film score. While following the established musical traditions of Russia, he broadly used Armenian and, to lesser extent, Caucasian , Eastern and Central European, and Middle Eastern peoples' folk music in his works.

He is highly regarded in Armenia, where he is considered a "national treasure". Khachaturian's parents were betrothed before knowing each other, when Kumash was 9 and Yeghia was They had 5 children, one daughter and four sons, of whom Aram was the youngest. In the 19th and early 20th centuries and throughout the early Soviet period, Tiflis known as Tbilisi after was the largest city and the administrative center of the Caucasus.

In Tiflis, which has historically been multicultural, Khachaturian was exposed to various cultures. In a article "My Idea of the Folk Element in Music", Khachaturian described the city environment and its influence on his career:. I grew up in an atmosphere rich in folk music: popular festivities, rites, joyous and sad events in the life of the people always accompanied by music, the vivid tunes of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian songs and dances performed by folk bards [ ashugs ] and musicians — such were the impressions that became deeply engraved on my memory, that determined my musical thinking.

They shaped my musical consciousness and lay at the foundations of my artistic personality Whatever the changes and improvements that took place in my musical taste in later years, their original substance, formed in early childhood in close communion with the people, has always remained the natural soil nourishing all my work.

In , the Bolsheviks rose to power in Russia in the October Revolution. After over two years of fragile independence, Armenia fell to Soviet rule in late Georgia was also Sovietized by the spring of Both countries formally became part of the Soviet Union in December To this people is dedicated my entire conscious life, as is all my creative work. In , the eighteen-year-old Khachaturian moved to Moscow to join his oldest brother, Suren, who had settled in Moscow earlier and was a stage director at the Moscow Art Theatre by the time of his arrival.

In , Khachaturian entered the Moscow Conservatory to study composition under Nikolai Myaskovsky and orchestration under Sergei Vasilenko. His Armenian-influenced First Symphony, which Khachaturian composed as a graduation work from the Moscow Conservatory in , "drew the attention of prominent conductors and was soon performed by the best Soviet orchestras" [22] and was admired by Shostakovich.

His Piano Concerto, along with the two later concertos—the Violin Concerto , for which he won a State Prize called the Stalin Prize then, the highest artistic award in the Soviet Union , [21] [22] and the Cello Concerto —are "often considered a kind of a grand cycle. Khachaturian held important posts at the Composers' Union , becoming deputy chairman of the Moscow branch in In fact, in his memoirs he reported pride about leading an institution that organized creative work in many musical genres and especially in all Soviet republics.

In Khachaturian made a six-month trip to his native Armenia "to make a thorough study of Armenian musical folklore and to collect folk-song and dance tunes" for his first ballet, Happiness which he completed in the same year.

He learned a lot, saw and heard many things anew, and at the same time he had an insight into the tastes and artistic requirements of the Armenian people. It was a great success that earned Khachaturian a Soviet State Prize. He composed the Second Symphony on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the October Revolution and incidental music to Masquerade , "a symphonic suite in the tradition of lavish classical Russian music", on Mikhail Lermontov 's play of the same title.

In mid-December , the Department for Agitation and Propaganda better known as Agitprop submitted to Andrei Zhdanov , the secretary of the Communist Party's Central Committee , a document on the "shortcomings" in the development of Soviet music.

On 10—13 January , a conference was held at the Kremlin in the presence of seventy musicians, composers, conductors and others who were confronted by Zhdanov: [40].

We will consider that if these comrades Shostakovich , Prokofiev , Myaskovsky , Khachaturian, Kabalevsky and Shebalin namely who are the principal and leading figures of the formalist direction in music.

And that direction is fundamentally incorrect. Thus, Khachaturian and other leading composers were denounced by the Communist Party as followers of the alleged formalism [15] i.

I wanted this work to express the Soviet people's joy and pride in their great and mighty country. Musicologist Blair Johnston believes that his "music contained few, if any, of the objectionable traits found in the music of some of his more adventuresome colleagues. In retrospect, it was most likely Khachaturian's administrative role in the Union [of Soviet Composers], perceived by the government as a bastion of politically incorrect music, and not his music as such, which earned him a place on the black list of In , Khachaturian began conducting [45] and started teaching composition at his alma maters—the Gnessin Institute since , and later at the Moscow Conservatory since In , he began working on his third and last ballet, Spartacus —54 , which later proved to be his last internationally acclaimed work.

He conducted the National Symphony Orchestra in a program of his own works. Khachaturian went on to serve again as Secretary of the Composers Union , starting in until his death.

Khachaturian died in Moscow on 1 May , after a long illness, [7] just short of his 75th birthday. Khachaturian's works span a broad range of musical types, including ballets, symphonies, concertos, and film scores. Music critic Edward Greenfield expresses the opinion that Khachaturian "notably outshone other Soviet contemporaries in creating a sharply identifiable style, something which his successors have found impossible to emulate". According to James Bakst, what made Khachaturian unique among Soviet composers is "the blending of national Armenian vocal and instrumental intonations with contemporary orchestral techniques".

Khachaturian is best known internationally for his ballet music. These two compositions "remain his most successful compositions". Khachaturian wrote incidental music for several plays, including Macbeth , , The Widow from Valencia , Masquerade , King Lear Musicologist Marina Frolova-Walker describes Khachaturian as the only internationally renowned Soviet composer "who emerged from the nationalist project".

The people create intonational music forms which reveal at once his national elements of an art work. Composer Tigran Mansurian suggested that Khachaturian's music incorporates American characteristics and called the United States his "second homeland" in terms of musical influences, especially due to the sense of optimism in his works and lifestyle. Khachaturian is widely known for his use of folk songs of various ethnic groups in his compositions, most notably those of Armenians.

However, his works markedly differed from the conventional orchestrations of folk themes," writes Rouben Paul Adalian. He suggests that Khachaturian's works carry "the vibrant rhythms and stirring pace of Caucasian dance music", but at the same time are "original compositions that reworked that cultural material through new instrumentation and according to European musical canons, resulting in a sound unique to the composer".

His plans to write an opera "on the destiny of the Armenian people, the tragic fate of Armenians scattered all over the world, their suffering and the struggle" never realized, and his "Armenian Rhapsody for mouth-organ and orchestra, intended for his close friend Larry Adler and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra " remained uncompleted.

During his university years, Khachaturian transcribed Armenian, Russian, Hungarian, Turkish and other folk songs. Khachaturian is cited by musicologists as a follower of Russian classical traditions. But Khachaturian's cultural identity and rigorous musical training within the Soviet establishment allowed him to penetrate more deeply to the essence of Eastern and Caucasian music and to incorporate it more fully in his mature work, including the ballets.

Khachaturian is generally considered one of the leading composers of the Soviet Union. Unlike Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Khachaturian was "entirely a creation of the Soviet musical and dance establishment". Josef Woodard, writing for the Los Angeles Times , suggests that he has "long [been] considered a lighter-weight participant among 20th-century composers," [85] while classic music broadcaster Norman Gilliland describes him as a "major" composer of the 20th century.

Schonberg argued in that Khachaturian "frankly composed popular music" and that after being exposed to his work it becomes evident that it is mostly "formula writing. Tim Ashley wrote in The Guardian in that Khachaturian's popularity fell in the West, because of his image as one of Soviet music's " yes-men ". He argued, "Such a view is simplistic, given that he had a major brush with the authorities in But it's also easy to see how he acquired his awkward reputation when you hear his Violin Concerto, dating from It's an immensely attractive work, full of his trademark Armenian folk flourishes, and the swaying, hypnotic Andante is notably beautiful.

But the unforced optimism of the outer movements now seems unthinking when we realise it was composed at a time when Stalin was giving Prokofiev and Shostakovich hell. She commented further: "His music, of course, has a little bit of the edginess of the 20th-century sound, the dissonances coming in. But at the same time it marries this beautiful neo-romanticism and lush orchestration and the over-the-top approach, so I think, he can be quite relevant these days.

Khachaturian was the most renowned Armenian composer of the 20th century, [89] and the most famous representative of Soviet Armenian culture. He had a great influence on the development of Armenian music in the 20th century. In , the Central Bank of Armenia issued dram banknotes depicting Khachaturian's portrait and the Yerevan Opera Theater on the obverse and an episode from the ballet Gayane and Mount Ararat on the reverse.

It remained in use until when it was replaced by a coin. In the festival of symphonic music Aram Khachaturian was held in Yerevan. In , Russia's flag carrier, Aeroflot , named one of its Airbus A planes after Khachaturian.

Soviet Union [70] []. Other states []. Academic titles [17]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Armenian composer and conductor. See also: List of compositions by Aram Khachaturian. I do not see how modern composers could isolate themselves from life and not want to work among society. The more impressions that come from contact with life, the more and better the creative ideas.

Together with other [Armenian composers], we will make all of Europe and the whole world listen to our music. And when they hear our music, people are certain to say, 'Tell us about that people, and show us the country that produces such art. From left to right: Khachaturian depicted on Soviet , Russian and Armenian postage stamps. Khachaturian appeared on the dram banknote — []. Armenian folk [music] He was highly skilled and well trained in the Russian classical tradition, and he frequently utilize the rich folk music traditions of the Caucasus in his original compositions, especially the ballet.

Government of the Republic of Armenia.


More by Aram Khachaturian

The Adventures of Ivan is a suite of eight characterful piano miniatures by Aram Khatchaturian , the titles of which suggest a narrative or snapshots in the life of a young boy called Ivan. His music is rich in the idioms of his Armenian heritage, marked by a strong rhythmic drive beautiful cantabile melodies and colourful textures. He was one of the most popular and successful composers of the Soviet period, alongside Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Each piece in the suite has an evocative title which assist the pianist in shaping character, mood, and expression in the music, and each offers interesting technical and musical challenges, making the pieces very satisfying to play and to teach. There is much scope for shaping of the melody, understanding how to balance the melody with the accompaniment, and syncopated pedal. The descending melody and piquant harmonies lend a wistfulness to this piece which is hard to resist. But the final C major chord suggests the sun has come out again and Ivan is allowed out to play.


Ivan Sings piano sheet music by Aram Khachaturian - Solo piano



Aram Khachaturian



The Adventures of Ivan – piano pieces to delight young and old


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