Arif Malikov, Azerbaijani and Soviet composer, Died at 85

Arif Malikov was born on September 13, 1933, and died on May 9, 2019; he was an Azerbaijani and Soviet composer.

Arif graduated from the Baku Conservatory as a music composer in 1958.

He shot to fame in 1961, during his first significant composition “Legend of Love” was staged at the Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad (present-day St Petersburg) and received universal acclaim.

The ballet has been staged in several countries in Europe and is, regarded as one of the most beautiful works emerging from the former Soviet Union.


The ballet “Legend of Love”, is based upon the legend of “Farhad and Shirin”, a story of unrequited love that was immortalized by Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet.

Since then, Arif had written music for two more ballets including “Yer üzündə iki nəfər (balet)” Yer üzündə iki nəfər (balet) (“Dvoe” or “Two”) (1967) and “Poem of Two Hearts” (1981), five symphonies & eight symphony poems.

Arif has also written scores for a large number of films and plays and is familiar with practically all genres of music composition.

He had been, conferred the highest award that an artist could get in the former Soviet Union – The People’s Artist of the USSR.

Arif has also been, honoured with a concert hall named after him at Turkey’s Bilkent University. He is an Honorary Doctor of Khazar University (2012), Baku. Azerbaijan.

After Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union (late 1991), Arif settled in Baku, where he teaches music in the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire.

Arif was a founding member of Eurasian Academy.

Sadly, Arif Malikov passed away on May 9, 2019, at the age of 85.