Legendary Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparayn dies aged 92

Legendary Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparyan passed away today aged 92, his grandson informs.

“The world has suffered unimaginable loss tonight. Not only an icon, but a beautiful soul. May he rest in peace,” Jivan Gasparyan Jr. said in a Facebook post.

Born in Solak, to parents from Mush, Gasparyan started to play duduk when he was six. In 1948, he became a soloist of the Armenian Song and Dance Popular Ensemble and the Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has won four medals at UNESCO worldwide competitions (1959, 1962, 1973, and 1980). In 1973 Gasparyan was awarded the honorary title People’s Artist of Armenia. In 2002, he received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a Honorary citizen of Yerevan.

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He has toured the world with a small ensemble playing Armenian folk music. His music has been chosen on the soundtrack of several foreign films, including the Gladiator.

He has collaborated with many artists, such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Hossein Alizadeh, Erkan Ogur, Michael Brook, Brian May, Lionel Richie, Derek Sherinian, Ludovico Einaudi, Luigi Cinque, Boris Grebenshchikov, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Hans Zimmer and Andreas Vollenweider.

He also recorded with the Kronos Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Gasparyan played as part of the Armenian entry “Apricot Stone” by Eva Rivas at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo and became the oldest ever person to feature in a Eurovision Song Contest performance.

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