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Biography

Aram Ilich Khachaturian (1903-1978) was an Armenian composer. His works include concertos for violin, cello and piano (the latter originally including an early part for the flexatone), concerto-rhapsodies for the same instruments, three symphonies – the third containing parts for fifteen additional trumpets and organ, and the ballets Spartak (aka Spartacus) and Gayane (music of which was used in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey; other films to use this same piece were Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Aliens, and Ice Age 2: The Meltdown). The latter ballet features in its final act what is probably his most famous movement, the "Sabre Dance". He also composed some film music and incidental music for plays such as the 1941 production of Lermontov's Masquerade. The cinematic quality of his music for Spartacus was clearly seen when it was used as the theme for a popular BBC drama series, The Onedin Line, during the 1970s. Since then, it has become one of the most popular of all classical pieces for UK audiences. Joel Cohen's The Hudsucker Proxy also prominently featured music from Spartacus and Gayane ("Sabre Dance," included) mixed with original compositions from Carter Burwell. He was also the composer for the state anthem of the Armenian SSR, whose tune is one of the five current choices to become the next state anthem of Armenia.

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