Aram Chatschaturjan

Chatschaturjan’s fate as a composer was eventually defined in 1925, when they opened a composition class at the school. After obtaining initial skills of composition there, in 1929, he was admitted to Moscow National Conservatory, where lead by Nikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky he was formed as a composer.

Aram Chatschaturjan was indelibly impressed by the visit of Myaskovsky’s class by Sergey Prokofiev in 1933. The creative work of a genius composer captured the young musician more and more. In its turn, Chatschaturjan's compositions amazed Prokofiev so greatly, that he took them with him to Paris, where they were immediately performed.

The first published composition of Chatschaturjan, “Dance” for violin and piano, already embraces some of the characteristic features of the composer’s stylistics: improvisation, diversity of variation techniques, as well as imitation of timbre effects widely spread in Eastern instrumental music, in particular the famous “Chatschaturjan’s seconds”, rhythmic ostinato. The composer himself noted: “These seconds come from the numerous sounds of folk instruments which I heard as a child: sazandartar, qyamancha and drum. My organ-point predilection comes from the Eastern music.”

Gradually, Chatschaturjan switched from little forms to more expanded ones, from the “arrangement” of folk songs and dances up to its “development”.

In 1935, in the Hall of Moscow Conservatorium, the orchestra directed by E. Senkara performed the First Symphony introduced by composer-graduate as the final project for graduation from the conservatory. It finalized the most productive period of studying and, at the same time, started a new period of life and creative work of the composer, who entered maturity stage. The audience, press, colleagues and friends noted the high artistic value of the new composition, the originality and public importance of its content, the richness of melodies, the generosity of harmonic and orchestra colors, and in particular, the bright national coloring of music.

As maturity approached, Chatschaturjan started to give more priority to composing the music for drama plays in his creative work. The most significant compositions of this genre are: music to Lope de Vega’s The Valencian Widow (1940), Lermontov’s Masquerade (1941). Symphonic suites, created on the basis of music to plays, gained their independent concert life.

In 1954, the most significant composition of Aram Chatschaturjan, heroic and tragic ballet “Spartacus” was created. It occupied a deserving place among the best ballets of the 20th century for the profoundness of its idea, the brightness of artistic implementation, the scale of dramatic art and form, and finally, for the boldness of resolution of actual creative problems related to contemporary musical and choreographic art.

Chatschaturjan spent much effort to pedagogical work. For quite a long period of time he directed the composition class at Moscow Conservatory after P. I. Chaykovsky and at Gnesin Music Institute. Developing the pedagogical principles of his teacher Myaskovsky, and based on own life and creative experience, Chatschaturjan created his private composers’ school.