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Azerbaijani composer Arif Melikov was born on 13 September 1933. He studied composition at Baku Conservatory and became well-known in 1958, just three years after graduating, when his ballet Legend of Love (based on the legend of 'Farhad and Shirin') was staged at the Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and was acclaimed by Shostakovich and throughout the former Soviet Union. The ballet has also been staged in other European countries.
Melikov's output included two further ballets, eight symphonies, ten symphonic poems and scores for many films and plays.
He became a People's Artist of the USSR, and a concert hall at Bilkent University in Turkey was named after him.
Following Azerbaijan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Melikov settled in Baku and taught music at the State Conservatoire.
He died on 9 May 2019, aged eighty-five.