Arif Melikov, one of the most eminent music directors of the former Soviet Union and present day Azerbaijan, was born on 13 September 1933 in Baku. He graduated from the Baku Conservatory as a music composer in 1958 and shot to fame in 1961 when his first major composition "Legend of Love" was staged at the Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad ( present day St Petersburg ) and received nationwide acclaim. The ballet, which is based on the famous Indian romantic legend of Shirin and Farhad, has been staged in several countries in Europe and is regarded as one of the finest works emerging from the former Soviet Union.
Since then, Melikov has written music for two more ballets including "Dvoe"(1967) and "Poem of Two Hearts" (1981), five symphonies & eight symphony poems. He has also written scores for a large number of films and plays and is familiar with practically all genres of music composition.
Melikov had been conferred the highest award that an artist could get in the former Soviet Union -- The People's Artist. He has also been honoured with a concert hall named after him at Turkey's Bilkent University
After Azerbaijan became independent, Melikov settled in Baku, where he teaches music in the State Conservatory.
On this visit to India, his first, Arif Melikov is accompanied by his daughter Shirin Melikov, who teaches at the Azerbaijan Music Academy. She has devoted her career to the study of Indian music and musicology
Arif Melikov's stay in India ( 10-20 January 1998 ) will include visits to New Delhi, Khajuraho, Agra and Mumbai. He and his daughter will be meeting artistes including Sonal Mansingh, Pt Ravi Shankar and Dr L Subramanium. The institutions to be visited by the distinguished visitors include the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, the National School of Drama, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the Bombay Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Centre for the Performing Arts. They will witness Dashanana--- a ballet from the Ramayana in the Odissi dance style, being performed by Ratikant Mohapatra ( son & disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra ) in the ICCR's Horizon Series on Friday 16th January at Tagore Hall.