Djivan Gasparian Celebrates 80th Birthday in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–A series of tribute concerts marking the 80th anniversary of prominent Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparyan opened at Yerevan’s Sports and Concert Complex Tuesday night, with both Armenian and internationally renowned musicians taking part in the event.

“All have come here without any fee or remuneration, all are my friends,” Gasparyan said from the stage to a concert hall pact with local fans and guests who traveled to Yerevan to honor the man who introduced the Armenian duduk to the world. “And I am thankful to all.”

Well-known musicians such as Andreas Vollenweider, Peter Gabriel, Grammy winner Alan Parsons, Zucchero, as well as celebrated guests from had come to honor the duduk legend. The Maestro’s gran’son, Jivan Gasparyan Jr., also performed during the evening.

Following the concert, Gasparyan visited the Armenian Brandy Company, where he received as a gift a barrel of brandy and a vintage bottle of 1928 Armenian brandy.

Born in 1928 in Solag, Armenia, Gasparyan is considered to be Armenia’s greatest living musician. He is a master of the ancient Armenian duduk, a cylindrical double reed flute made of apricot wood dating back to the fifth century. He began playing the instrument at the age of 6, then joined the Tatool Altounian National Song and Dance Ensemble in 1948 and later joined the Yerevan Philharmonic Orchestra as a soloist. Gasparyan has extensively toured Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US and has released over a dozen solo and collaborative albums over the years, while also working on the soundtracks of movies such as "Ronin,"Gladiator", "Syriana" and "Blood Diamond."

In 2007 he was nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award for a cross-culture
collaboration with Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh called Endless Vision. For the last thirty some years, he has been traveling between Armenia and Southern California, performing concerts, teaching at Yerevan’s Conservatory, and training his gran’son Djivan to follow in his footsteps. He is also the winner of four world-wide gold Medal UNESCO competitions and the World Music Expo lifetime achievement award.

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