Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Musical Arts

Program

Music

Supervisor

Nolan, Catherine

2nd Supervisor

Kinton, Leslie

Co-Supervisor

Abstract

Aram Khachaturian, a Soviet-era Armenian composer, wrote his Piano Concerto in D♭ major in 1936. He was born in Tbilisi, Georgia to an Armenian family and moved to Moscow for his musical training at the age of nineteen. As a child, he was exposed to Eastern music of the Transcaucasus, which remained a lasting influence in his music. He created a unique musical sound that includes Eastern and Western elements. Khachaturian’s music achieved success early in his career. The Piano Concerto, written during his time as a post-graduate student under Myaskovsky, remains one of his best-known works.

Khachaturian is one of the most prominent composers to come out of the Soviet Union. He is also the most well-known Armenian composer, and through combining Eastern and Western musical elements, was able to bring Armenian music to international audiences. He is an important figure to Armenians especially, as he raised awareness of their existence and the music of their culture.

This study explores Khachaturian’s role as a significant Armenian-Soviet figure by first providing a brief history of the Armenian people. This is followed by a biography of Khachaturian. The final portion of the study provides historical context and a complete performer’s analysis of the Piano Concerto. The analysis reveals certain aspects of the concerto that establish Khachaturian as a skilful and talented composer. The hope of this study is that it may inspire future scholars and performers to explore the less popular works of Khachaturian.

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