In Moscow, thousands of people filed past the coffin of the composer Aram Khachaturyan on Friday (5 May), to pay their last respects.
In Moscow, thousands of people filed past the coffin of the composer Aram Khachaturyan on Friday (5 May), to pay their last respects. Among those who paid tribute to the composer were the Soviet Prime Minister, Alexei Kosygin and the Culture Minister, Pyotr Demichev. And in a funeral oration the chief of the Soviet Musicians Union, Tikhon Khrennikov, described Khachaturyan as a great citizen of his motherland and a classic of Soviet music. His works included the two ballets, Gayeneh and Spartacus.
SYNOPSIS: Khachaturyan died on Monday (1 May) after a long illness, aged 74. His coffin lay in the Moscow Music Conservatory for mourners to pay respects.
Khachaturyan's death marked the end of a line of great Soviet composers of the 20th century. He was the last survivor of a group that included the names of Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov.
He was on of the most versatile of the composers. His "Sabre Dance" was a success in the pop music charts of the 1960's and he wrote the music for over 20 films. His career spanned 50 years during which he visited 40 countries, often conducting performances of his own works. On Saturday (6 May) he was buried in Yerevan, capital of his native province of Armenia.