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Aram Khachaturian (Composer)

Khachaturian, Aram (Ilyich) (b Tbilisi (Tiflis), 1903; d Moscow, 1978). Armenian composer. Planned to be biologist, but at 19 became vc. student, later joining comp. class. His trio (1932) attracted the attention of Prokofiev, who arranged perf. in Paris. His 1st sym. (1934) was a success at its f.p. in April 1935, but even greater was that of his pf. conc. (1936). Held various state posts. His 2nd sym. and vc. conc. incurred official disapproval in 1948 and he switched to comp. of film mus. In 1950 he began to teach at Gnesin Inst. and Moscow Cons. and developed as cond. of his own works, travelling to It., Eng., Latin America, and elsewhere. In 1956 his ballet Spartacus was acclaimed by Moscow critics as a masterpiece. His mus. is colourful and has continued the nationalist tradition of the St Petersburg sch. Prin. works:

BALLETS: Happiness (1939); Gayane (incorporating mus. from Happiness) (1940-2, rev. 1952; 2nd version with new plot 1957); Spartacus (1954, rev. 1968).

ORCH. AND CHORUS: syms.: No.1 in E minor (1934), No.2 in A minor (1943), No.3 (1947); Dance Suite (1932-3); Poem about Stalin, with ch. (1938); 3 Suites from Gayane (1943); Ode in memory of Lenin (1948); 4 Suites from Spartacus (Nos. 1-3, 1955-7, No.4, 1967); Ode of Joy, mez. and ch. (1956); Lermontov Suite (1959).

CONCERTOS: pf. in Db major (1936); vn. in D minor (1940); vc. in E major (1946); conc.-rhapsody for pf. (1955, rev. 1961); conc.-rhapsody for vn. (1961); conc.-rhapsody for vc. (1962).

CHAMBER MUSIC: vn. sonata in D (1932); trio for pf., cl., and vn. (1932).

PIANO: Poem (1927); 7 Recitatives and Fugues (1928-66); Suite (1932); 3 Marches (1929-34); sonatina in C (1958); sonata (1961).

INCIDENTAL MUSIC: Macbeth (1934, 1955); King Lear (1958).

FILMS: Lenin (1948-9); Battle of Stalingrad (1949); Othello (1955).

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