Born June 6, 1903 in Tiflis, Russia
Died May 1, 1978 in Moscow, U.S.S.R.
"Sabre Dance" from the ballet Gayane, Masquerade Suite, Sparticus Suites
Unlike many famous musicians who were child prodigies, Khachaturian did not begin the formal study of music until he was nineteen. As a child he played the tuba and taught himself piano, and in 1921, he moved to Moscow to study cello and composition at the Gnesin Music Academy.
He was especially interested in folk music, and he traveled to his native Armenia to collect folk songs and write music based on them. He married another composer, taught at the Music Academy that he had attended as a student in Moscow, and continued to compose throughout his life.