Khachaturian, Aram Ilich (ərämˈ ĭlyēchˈ khäˌchətōryänˈ) [key], 1903–78, Russian composer of Armenian parentage, b. Tiflis (now Tbilisi). Khachaturian moved to Moscow in the early 1920s and attended (1929–34) the Moscow Conservatory. At first studying the cello, he began to compose c.1926. Colorful, energetic, emotionally powerful, and texturally rich, his music often uses Armenian and Central Asian folk idioms. His piano concerto (1936), violin concerto (1940), the ballet Gayané (1942, containing the famous Sabre Dance ), the orchestral suite Masquerade (1944), and the ballet Spartacus (1956) are especially popular. Despite official Soviet criticism of his style (at first acclaimed and honored, he was denounced as a formalist in 1948 and rehabilitated a decade later), Khachaturian continued to create works of harmonic complexity until his death.