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Khachaturian – along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich – was one of the most popular and successful composers of the Soviet period. Born to an Armenian family in Tbilisi, he was admitted to the Gnessin Academy in Moscow without any previous musical training. There, he studied cello and later turned to composition. His Armenian background left its stamp on his music. Although he is primarily known in the West for his ballet music (such as that for Gayane and Spartacus), he also wrote music for symphonies, film and theatre, as well as well as chamber music and numerous patriotic songs.
Aram Ilyich Khachaturian