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Composing for a ballet

Composing for a ballet

Aram Khachaturian, Armenia’s most important composer, is known around the world for his ballet music. He composed the music for Gayane, a ballet in three acts, that tells the story of a woman in an unhappy marriage who falls in love with another. The ballet premiered in 1942 by the Kirov Ballet, with the “Sabre Dance” being one of its most recognizable tunes.

One year after the ballet premiered, Khachaturian arranged three orchestral suites from his original full-length score, but the movements from the three suites are often compiled into various arrangements. For example, the ESO will perform the Sabre Dance, Dance of the Young Maidens, Lullaby, and Hopak from the Suite from Gayane Nos. 1 and 3. Other than Lullaby, the orchestration of the upbeat dance music is very brilliant and colorful, using percussion, harp, and xylophone. These four dances have a modal European flavor to them, but sound distinctly Armenian.

Aram Khachaturian

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Friday, March 13 has been CANCELLED

Enhance your concert experience with a sneak preview — Composers come alive and their passions take center stage when ESO General Manager David Ellis and ESO Maestro Lawrence Eckerling take you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.

Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the March concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, March 13 has been CANCELLED,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.
Please RSVP to 847-562-5318.

Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of newly renovated apartments will be available after the program.