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Aram Khachaturian
Aram Khachaturian made a unique and historical contribution to the music. This contribution is important and complex.

He foreshadowed a rapid rise of the Armenian national music and its transformation to a new professional level, and it is largely due to him and his talented creations that the Armenian music is known as an original part of the universal world of music.

This is not the only achievement of Aram Khachaturian, who has left a deep legacy of innovation and organic synthesis of the Oriental and Western musical cultures. That is his main achievement.

As a famous Russian composer, Rodion Schedrin put it, “Khachaturian was the source of the modern and original approach to the folk and artistic components in a composer’s skill.” As such, his accomplishments are reflected in the music of all the schools of composing in the world.

Khachaturian belongs to Armenia as much as he does to Russia and the rest of the world.”

Khachaturian’s works are deeply rooted in the Armenian people, arts, and culture. At the same time, they are embedded professionally in the European and Russian musical classics.

The integral contact between his ethnic roots and broader musical traditions on the background of his rare artistic gift gave Khachaturian an opportunity to express himself in music in a bold, even daring manner, with limitless energy and vital force.

Aram Khachaturian’s path to the world of music was unordinary, and his artistic biography can be considered unusual for a famous composer. He was raised in a family of a humble book-binder who could boast of no professional musicians among his ancestors, yet the household stood out for its love of arts, singing, and folk music.

The main artistic environment was the city of Tbilisi where he grew up and spent his adolescent years.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, Tbilisi was a lively city with multiethnic population, with organic cohabitation of several cultural and artistic traditions of the peoples of the Caucasus, including the Armenians, Georgians, Azeris, Russians, and Jews.

The Khachaturian household included four brothers. The elder brothers were seriously engaged in theater, and, in fact, the elder two later became professional actors. The junior sibling – Aram – had a clear preference for music.

He played in a percussion ensemble at school, picked up tunes and songs heard elsewhere on his father’s old piano, and beat up ingenious rhythms on the chairs. The many musical voices of the urban life – the singing of the minstrel “ashughs,” the sazandar’s tunes, the city park orchestras – nurtured the ear and imagination of the would be composer. The first visit to the opera was shockingly stirring for the youth.

Recognizing Aram’s giftedness, his elder brother Suren who had by then become a theater producer in Moscow helped the eighteen-year-old Aram relocate to Moscow, to expose him to a world of opportunities, and, indeed, Aram had gone through rapid development.

The young Aram Khachaturian had initially enrolled as a biology student at the Moscow University School of Mathematics and Physics, and immersed himself in the capital’s artistic environment.

Music’s attractive force was, nevertheless, irresistible and the youth bid farewell to a career in biology and transferred to the Gnesin’s School of Music, in the class of cello. Following the advice of an experienced instructor and composer Mikhail Gnesin, he took up his composition class.

Recognizing the genius of the young musician, Gnesin referred to him as ‘an unpolished precious stone.’

Four years later the twenty-three-years old Khachaturian entered the Moscow Conservatory, beginning his formal composition education at an age when most students neared graduation.

Yet his creative potential was enormous. In his first years at the Conservatory, he created pieces that sound original and fresh today, such as the Dance for Violin, Poem Song, and a Poem and Toccata for the piano, Dancing Suite, Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano.

His First Symphony forcefully announced his graduation from the Conservatory in 1934, enshrining his name next to other famous graduates, such as Rakhmaninov, Taneyev, and Skriabin.

Enrolled as a graduate student, Khachaturian wrote chamber pieces, the score to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Armenian-produced movie Pepoe, and Piano Concerto, a masterpiece that earned him worldwide fame.

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Writer: Hasmik Muradyan
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 Date Added: Saturday September 09, 2006 07:24:00 

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