Armenian composer Alexander Grigorevich Arutiunian was born in Yerevan on 23 September 1920. In 1927 he joined the Yerevan State Conservatory Children's Group, and from fourteen he studied piano (with O Babasyan) and composition (with S Barkhudaryan and V Talyan) at the conservatory, graduating just before World War II began. When peace returned, he studied composition in Moscow with Genrikh Litinsky then returned to Yerevan to teach at the conservatory.
Arutiunian won the Stalin Prize for his Motherland cantata in 1948, and the following year he wrote a Festive Overture and had it performed by Evgeny Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philharmonic.
He became artistic director of the Armenian State Philharmony in 1954.
He has received praise from other composers, notably Aram Khachaturian and Dmitri Shostakovich, and some of his works - for example, the tuba concerto and the brass quintet Armenian Scenes - have become known and played internationally. His best known work is probably the 1950 Trumpet Concerto.
A series of concerts celebrated his ninetieth birthday in September 2010. He died in Yerevan on 28 March 2012, aged ninety-one.