Arno Babajanian

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Arno Babajanian
Առնո Բաբաջանյան
Background information
Born(1921-01-22)January 22, 1921
Yerevan, Armenia
DiedNovember 11, 1983(1983-11-11) (aged 62)
Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union
Years active1952–1983

Arno Harutyunovich Babajanian (Armenian: Առնո Բաբաջանյան; Russian: Арно Арутюнович Бабаджанян; January 22, 1921 – November 11, 1983) was a Soviet and Armenian composer and pianist. He was made a People's Artist of the USSR in 1971


Babajanian was born in Yerevan on January 22, 1921. By the age 5, his musical talent was apparent, and the composer Aram Khachaturian suggested that the boy be given proper music training. Two years later, in 1928, Babajanian entered the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan. In 1938, he continued his studies in Moscow with Vissarion Shebalin.

He later returned to Yerevan, where from 1950 to 1956 he taught at the conservatory. In 1952, he wrote the Piano Trio in F-sharp minor. It received immediate acclaim and was regarded as a masterpiece from the time of its premiere. Subsequently, he undertook concert tours throughout the Soviet Union and Europe. In 1971, he was named a People's Artist of the USSR.

Babajanian wrote in various musical genres, including many popular songs in collaboration with leading poets such as Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Robert Rozhdestvensky. Much of his music is rooted in Armenian folk music and folklore, which he generally uses in the virtuosic style of Rachmaninoff and Khachaturian. His later works were influenced by Prokofiev and Bartók. Praised by Dmitri Shostakovich as a "brilliant piano teacher", Babajanian was also a noted pianist and often performed his own works in concerts.

List of principal works[edit]

Piano works[edit]

for piano solo[edit]

  • Prelude (1938)
  • Vagharshapat dance (1943)
  • Impromptu (1944)
  • Polyphonic sonata (1946, revised 1956)
  • Capriccio (1951)
  • Six pictures (1963–64)
  • Poem (1965)
  • Meditation (1969)
  • Melody and Humoresque (1970)
  • Elegy (1978)

for two pianos[edit]

(co-composed by Alexander Arutiunian)

  • Dance (early 1940s)
  • Armenian Rhapsody (1950)
  • Festive (1960, includes percussive instruments)

Works for solo instrument and piano[edit]

  • Violin sonata (1958)
  • Air and Dance for Cello (1961)

Chamber works[edit]

  • String quartet No. 1 (1938)
  • String quartet No. 2 (1947?)
  • Piano trio (1952)
  • String quartet No. 3 (1976)

Orchestral works[edit]

  • Poem-rhapsody (1954, revised 1980)
  • March of the Soviet Police (1977)


  • Piano concerto (1944)
  • Violin concerto (1948)
  • "Heroic ballade" for piano and orchestra (1950)
  • Cello concerto (1962)

Ballet pieces[edit]

  • "Parvana" (Парвана) (1954–56; incomplete, probably lost)
  • "Pas-de-deux" (Па-де-де)
  • "Stellar symphony" (Звездная симфония) (early 1960s)
  • "Umbrellas" (Зонтики)
  • "Sensation" (Сенсация)

Pieces for stage orchestra[edit]

  • Armenian Lipsi
  • Rhythmic dance
  • In Karlovy Vary
  • Come to Yerevan
  • Festive Yerevan
  • Nocturne (Concert piece for piano and orchestra) (1980)
  • Dreams (Concert piece for piano and orchestra) (1982)

Film scores[edit]

  • Looking for the addressee (В поисках адресата) (1955)
  • Path of thunder (Тропою грома) (1956)
  • Personally known (Лично известен) (1957)
  • The Song of First Love (Песня первой любви) (1958)
  • A Groom from the Other World (Жених с того света) (1958)
  • Bride from the North (Невеста с севера) (1975)
  • My heart is in the Highlands (В горах мое сердце) (1975)
  • Baghdasar's divorce (Багдасар разводится с женой) (1976)
  • Chef contest (Приехали на конкурс повара) (1977)
  • The flight starts from the Earth (Полет начинается с земли) (1980)
  • The mechanics of happiness (Механика счастья) (1982)

Songs (over 200 in total; selection)[edit]

  • "Nocturne" ("Ноктюрн")
  • "Bring me back the music" (""Верни мне музыку")[1]
  • "Beauty queen" ("Королева красоты")
  • "Wedding" ("Свадьба")
  • "Best city in the world" ("Лучший город Земли"), originally performed by Jean Tatlian and made a classic by Muslim Magomayev[2]
  • "Grateful to you" ("Благодарю тебя")
  • "Ferris wheel" ("Чертово колесо")
  • "Heart on snow" ("Сердце на снегу")
  • "The blue taiga" ("Голубая тайга")
  • "Dum spiro, spero" (Пока я помню, я живу)
  • "Aria-vocalise" (Ария-вокализ)

Honors, prizes and medals[edit]

A minor planet, 9017 Babadzhanyan, was named after him.[4]


Babajanian is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Soviet era.


  1. ^ Филипп Киркоров - Верни мне музыку on YouTube
  2. ^ Artemy Troitsky. Артемий Троицкий о песнях о Москве [Artemy Troitsky on the songs about Moscow]. Cosmopolitan (in Russian) (September 2010).
  3. ^ "Arno Babajanian". Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  4. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 675. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.

External links[edit]