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Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depth. Choose from our wide selection of pre-written pieces or commission custom notes that complement your concert story.

Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depths.

Custom Notes

Tell your own concert story by commissioning synopses and program notes that fit you needs. Just tell us what you’d like to have, and we'll get back to you with a quote.


Choose from dozens of ready-to-print program notes and synopses which you can download instantly as a digital file, including a license to reproduce the notes in programs and on your website.*

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Khachaturian: Piano Concerto

Khachaturian: Piano Concerto


797 words
note by Chris Myers

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Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich spent their lives balancing their desire for artistic expression against the pressure to stay in the good graces (or at least avoid incurring the wrath) of the Soviet authorities. Though viewed today as titans of Soviet music, their lives were turbulent as they fell in and out of favor with the government. Unable to risk explicit social criticism, their frustration often emerged in the (not-so) subtle irony of works such as Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and The Little Anti-Formalist Paradise or Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7. The underlying criticism was occasionally detected even by sarcasm-impaired Soviet bureaucrats, and such pieces frequently did as much to undermine the composers’ position as they did to bring them back into favor.
Aram Khachaturian had no such problem. An ardent supporter of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union throughout his life, his first move upon the declaration of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was to join a nationwide propaganda tour promoting Communism. Seeing the power and influence of the ideological songs used on this journey, the 19-year-old revolutionary was moved to pursue a career as a musician, and he later described his own music as “expressing the Soviet people’s joy and pride in their great and mighty country.” Aside from a brief period of condemnation (along with Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and others) for “formalism” and “antipopulism” in 1948, he managed consistently to occupy a position of the highest esteem within the Soviet Union. His loyalty to the Party and skill as a composer led him to become Secretary of the Board of the Composers’ Union and a Deputy in the Supreme Soviet.

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