Lived 1903 – 1978
Mostly in  Moscow
Best Known For   S partacus, Violin Concerto, Sabre Dance, Waltz from Masquerade
Similar To  Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Ippolitov-Ivanov

The work that truly launched Khachaturian’s international reputation had a far from auspicious start. Composed in 1936, his Piano Concerto was an ambitious attempt to blend the trans-Caucasian folk music of his hometown, Tiflis (today the Georgian capital, and known as Tbilisi), with the dramatic virtuosity of a Liszt concerto.

Aram Khachaturian

For its first public outing the soloist was Lev Oborin, winner of the first Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition of 1927. However, the performance was held on an open-air stage in Sokolniki, a Moscow ‘park of culture and leisure’. Oborin had to play on an upright, and Khachaturian’s ambitious orchestral score, including within its soulful slow movement a part for flexatone (a ‘singing’ percussive instrument also used...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now