Legendary Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparyan has passed away at the age of 92, informs his grandson Jivan Gasparyan Jr. in a Facebook post.
“The world has suffered unimaginable loss tonight. Not only an icon, but a beautiful soul. May he rest in peace,” said Jivan Gasparyan Jr. in a Facebook post.
“Շատ մեծ ցավովեմ գրում իմ մեծ կորստի մասին; Աստված հոգիդ լուսավոր երկնքում պահի,” added Gasparyan Jr.
Born in Solak village in Armenia’s Kotayk 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 Yerevan Philharmonic Orchestra.
He 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.
A professor at the Yerevan State Musical Conservatory, he instructed and nurtured many performers to professional levels of performance in duduk.
He toured the world several times with a small ensemble playing Armenian folk music. His music has been chosen on the soundtrack of several international films.
He 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, but was not officially listed as a guest artist.