Armenian composer Hrachya Melikyan was born in Yerevan on 8 May 1947 and developed a passion for music while very young, learning guitar and accordion. Because his father did not approve of his son pursuing music, the young Melikyan iniitially also studied law, but he eventually, aged twenty, began to study composition at Yerevan State Conservatory with Edvard Mirzoyan, impressing his teacher and also learning piano (to an impressively high level) and various woodwind instruments.
He was already composing while a student, and had particular success with an early clarinet sonata, which won a prize and was performed in other former Soviet capitals including Baku, Kiev, Tbilisi amd Yerevan. His first string quartet was also very successful, and these achievements led to chamber music becoming the centre of his compositional activity, although he didn't wish to be held back by tradition. He didn't limit his output to chamber music either. There's also an unperformed opera, Alien Blood or End of Absurdity, oratorios and music for eight films.
Hrachya Melikyan died in Yerevan on 6 March 2006, aged fifty-eight, shortly after completing his unusually beautiful and peaceful fifth string quartet and after signing a publishing deal with the Swiss company Editions Bim.