10th anniversary of the death of Karen Khachaturian

Born in Moscow in 1920, the  Armenian  composer  Karen  Khachaturian  is  related  to  the  great  and  in  international  terms  far  more  famous  Aram  Khachaturian; he is his nephew. On 19 July 2021 we commemorate the 10th anniversary of death. Karen Khachaturian came from an artistically engaged family. His mother  was  an  actress,  his  father  a  producer  of  a  Moscow  theatre  studio.  Following  initial composition  studies  with  Heinrich  Litinsky,  Karen  Khacha-turian  studied  at  the  Moscow  Conservatory  from  1945  and  was  supported  by  Vissarion  Shephalin,  Dmitri Shostakovich and Nikolai Myaskovsky (whose  composition  class  he  attended).  He finished  his  studies  in  1949  and  in  1952  became  a  university  lecturer  in  addition  to  his  composition  activities.  It  is evident from his small oeuvre much of his inspiration came from Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinsky and Dmitri   Shostakovich.   Karen   Khachaturian’s   most   famous works include two symphonies, organ works and string  chamber  music  as  well  as  the  ballet  ”Cipollino” (”Onion”), first performed in Germany at the Cologne Opera in March 2008 choreographed by Arila  Siegert.  We  heartily  recommend  this  stirring,  extremely entertaining work. Another powerful work by Karen Khachaturian is  the  symphonic  suite  ”Im  Zirkus”  (In  the  Circus),  written  in  1968,  as  well  as  the Introduction and Organ Fugue. Another popular chamber music work is the 1966 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano. Karen Khachaturian also wrote  several film scores, especially for animated films by the Soviet film studio Soyuzmultfilm.

Fairy tale ballet ”Cipollino”

The fairy-tale ballet ”Cipollino” is based on a 1950s Italian   children’s   book   by   Gianni   Rodari.   Karen   Khachaturian’s   ballet   music,   composed   in   1973,   was first performed in Germany on 27 March 2008, at the Cologne Opera House. This production was accompanied by the orchestra of the Lithuanian State Opera Vilnius. It was danced by the students of the Hilger-Lee  ballet  studio  to  a  choreography  by  Arila  Siegert.The  figures  in  the  piece  are  persons  dressed  up  as  fruits  and  vegetables,  such  as  Prince  Lemon  or  Signore Tomato. The latter two oppress their people, yet in the end find themselves put in their place.

10th anniversary of death 
Karen Khachaturian
(19.09.1920 - 19.07.2011)
- „Cipollino“. Ballet in 3 Akten
- Symphonies No. 1-2
-„Circus“. Symphonic Suite for orchestra

Photo: Karen Chatschaturjan © Norbert Unfried  

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