Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   11 December

Monaco Prince cuts short his tour to meet with Aram Khachaturyan: Renowned composer’s meetings with Royal families

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 7, ARMENPRESS. During his tours renowned Armenian composer Aram Khachaturyan met with the leaders of countries, received interesting offers, as well as valuable gifts from them.

ARMENPRESS this time presents the composer’s meetings with the Royal families.

The composer was on tour in Belgium in 1960. Queen Elizabeth was unable to attend his concert due to health problems, but after the concert people approached Khachaturyan and conveyed the Queen’s invitation to meet. Accepting the invitation with pleasure, the next day the renowned composer and his wife were hosted at the Queen’s Palace. “They had a very warm and interesting meeting. The Queen Elizabeth had a great contribution in the art world the evidence of which is the international contest named after her. She also played violin and has been taught by renowned violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. This is the reason that the Armenian composer and the Queen talked about the art, the innovations in the music art, the composer’s creative path and the Brussels Symphonic Orchestra. They have also talked about people they know among whom were world-renowned musicians”, director of the Aram Khachaturyan House-Museum Armine Grigoryan said.

The Queen also had a little knowledge of Russian the evidence of which is her note written on a photograph. The photos of this meeting are still kept in the Museum.

In 1973 the composer was invited to France where his 70th anniversary was celebrated with a great event. During this tour he decided to visit Monaco. During this period the Monaco Prince and his wife, world-renowned star Grace Kelly, were outside the country, but being informed about the composer’s visit, they returned from London cutting short their tour and immediately arrived in the house where Khachaturyan stopped. The Prince as well was very fond of art and he organized different contests and festivals in his country every two years dedicated to the composer art. In 1974 he not only invited the composer to the contest-festival, but also asked to write a new work to be performed at the opening ceremony of the festival.

Again on a concert tour in Iran in 1965, the Persian Shah showed his sympathy to the composer by providing one of his personal vehicles to the composer for touring the country. The Persian Shah and his wife also attended Khachaturyan’s concert. Usually, after the completion of the concert the Shah left the concert hall, but this case differed from the remaining ones. The Shah and his wife applauded the maestro as a result of which he again performed his works.

Then the Shah and his wife went to the backstage to meet with the renowned composer the evidence of which is the photo still maintained. The Persian Shah handed over many gifts to the composer, among which was quite a valuable Persian blue carpet. Khachatruyan brought it to Moscow to decorate his apartment.

In 1961 during the trip in Egypt, President Gamal Abdel Nasser welcomed him at the airport. The Egyptian President also attended the composer’s concert. He handed over one of the highest certificates of the country to Aram Khachaturyan for the great contribution in the field of art. During the same tour Khachaturyan also met with President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito.

Anna Grigoryan

Photo – courtesy of Aram Khachaturyan House Museum


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