Lazar Sarian was born on 30 September 1920 in New Nakhichevan (now near Rostovon-Don, Russia). He received his primary musical education in a group of gifted children within the Yerevan State Conservatory that included Arno Babadjanian, Alexander Arutiunian and Edvard Mirzoian with whom he would later form the Armenian Mighty Handful. During 1934–38 he studied composition at the Yerevan State Conservatory with Vardges Talian and Sergey Barkhudarian, and in 1939 at the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow with Vissarion Shebalin. He went on to study at the Moscow State Conservatory, at first with Dmitry Shostakovich (who lavished great praise on his student), but graduated from the class of Dmitry Kabalevsky, since Shostakovich, who was denounced as a formalist in 1948, was deprived of the right to teach. Sarian received several State awards and was a well-known pedagogue, with many composers, including Tigran Mansurian, Stepan Lusikian and Vartan Adjemian, numbered among his students. He died on 27 May 1998 in Yerevan.
– Hayk Melikyan