Arif Melikov (also spelled Arif Malikov, Azerbaijani: Arif Məlikov, Cyrillic: Ариф Меликов; born 13 September 1933, Baku, Azerbaijan - died May 9th, 2019) is an Azerbaijani and Soviet composer. He studied from 1946 until 1951 at the Baku Music College. From 1953 until 1958 he attended Baku Conservatory studying composition under Gara Garayev (a.k.a. Kara Karayev). In 1958 he was appointed to teach at the conservatory, where he was assistant professor from 1971. Since 1979 he is professor in composition and instrumentation. Melikov is mainly a symphonist. His works are based on traditional Azerbaijan folklore, molding certain international elements of this folklore into classical form structures.
He shot to fame in 1961 when his first major composition “Legend of Love” was staged at the Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad (present day St. Petersburg) and received nationwide acclaim. The ballet has been staged in several countries in Europe and is regarded as one of the finest works emerging from the former Soviet Union. The ballet “Legend of Love”, is based upon the legend of “Farhad and Shirin”, a story of unrequited love that was immortalized by Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. Since then, Arif Melikov has written music for two more ballets including “Dvoe” (Two) (1967) and “Poem of Two Hearts” (1981), five symphonies and eight symphony poems. He has also written scores for a large number of films and plays and is familiar with practically all genres of music composition.
Arif Melikov has been conferred the highest award that an artist could get in the former Soviet Union – The People’s Artist of the USSR. He has also been honored with a concert hall named after him at Turkey’s Bilkent University. After Azerbaijan became independent, Arif Malikov settled in Baku, where he teaches music in the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire.
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