Arif Malikov (also Melikov; September 13, 1933 in Baku) is an Azerbaijani and Soviet composer. He graduated from the Baku Conservatory as a music composer in 1958. He shot to fame in 1961 when his first major composition "Legend of Love" was staged at the Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad (present day St Petersburg) and received nationwide acclaim. The ballet has been staged in several countries in Europe and is regarded as one of the finest 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, Malikov has 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. He has also written scores for a large number of films and plays and is familiar with practically all genres of music composition.
Malikov had been conferred the highest award that an artist could get in the former Soviet Union — The People's Artist of the USSR. He 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), Malikov settled in Baku, where he teaches music in the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire.