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Aram Khachaturian
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Aram Khachaturian


Aram Ilich Khachaturian (Armenian: Արամ Խաչատրյան, Russian: Аpaм Ильич Xaчaтypян) (June 6, 1903 - May 1, 1978) was a composer of classical music.

Khachaturian was born in Tiflis, Georgia, Russia (now Tbilisi, Georgia) to an Armenian family (several of his works show the influence of Armenian folk music). He studied music in Moscow under Nikolay Myaskovsky and Mikhail Gnesin. In 1951, he became professor at the Gnesiny State Musical and Pedagogical Institute (Moscow) and the Moscow Conservatory.

His works include concertos for violin, cello and piano (the latter originally including an early part for the flexatone), three symphonies and the ballets Spartak (Spartacus) and Gayane, the latter opening with what is probably his most famous movement, the "Sabre Dance". He also composed some film music. The cinematic quality of his music for Spartacus was clearly seen when it was used as the theme for a popular BBC drama series, The Onedin Line, during the 1970s. Since then, it has become one of the most popular of all classical pieces for UK audiences.

He died in Moscow, short of his 75th birthday.

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