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28 July 2011 / leggypeggy

Arno tickling the ivories

Arno Babajanian, Armenian composer and pianist.

All the favourite sons (and probably many of the daughters too) seem to have statues of themselves in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. I’m especially partial to this one of Arno Babajanian. What a grand nose he had.

Born in Yerevan in 1921, Babajanian was probably the country’s most important composer and pianist. His extraordinary musical talent was evident by the time he was 5, and he entered the Yerevan State Musical Conservatory at the age of 7.

Babajanian was active in most genres and wrote many popular songs in collaboration with leading poets. Many of his compositions were also rooted in Armenian folk music and folklore. In 1956, he was named the People’s Artist of Armenia. The Soviet Union awarded him a similar title in 1971.

This statue is located in the gardens of the Opera House and beside what is called Swan Lake. It shows him playing, seated at a granite piano that extends for at least four metres.

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