Jivan Gasparyan dies aged 93
“I am writing with great sorrow about my big loss. Rest in peace,” he said.
Born in Solak, Armenia, Jivan Gasparyan started to play duduk when he was just 6 years old. In 1948, he became a soloist of the Armenian Song and Dance Popular Ensemble and the Yerevan Philharmonic Orchestra.
He won four medals at UNESCO worldwide competitions. In 1973, Gasparyan was awarded the honorary title of People’s Artist of Armenia. In 2002, he received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) Lifetime Achievement Award and was also an Honorary Citizen of Yerevan.
A professor at the Yerevan State Musical Conservatory, Gasparyan instructed and nurtured many performers to play duduk at professional levels.
Gasparyan toured the world several times with a small ensemble of playing Armenian folk music, and his music also became the soundtrack of several international films.
He collaborated with many artists, such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Hossein Alizadeh, Erkan Oğur, Michael Brook, Brian May, Lionel Richie, Derek Sherinian, Ludovico Einaudi, Luigi Cinque, Boris Grebenshchikov, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Hans Zimmer and Andreas Vollenweider.
Gasparyan also recorded with the Kronos Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic during his career and was nominated in the Grammy Awards for the Best Traditional World Music Album in 2006.