Djivan Gasparyan (var. Jivan Gasparyan; Armenian: Ջիվան Գասպարյան, Armenian pronunciation: [dʒiˈvɑn ɡɑspɑɾˈjɑn]; October 12, 1928 – July 6, 2021) was an Armenian musician and composer. He played the duduk, a double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Gasparyan is known as the "Master of the duduk". In 2006 he was nominated for Grammy awards for the Best Traditional World Music Album.
|Born||October 12, 1928|
Solak, Armenian SSR, Transcaucasian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Died||July 6, 2021 (aged 92)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Composer, score composer, musician|
|Labels||All Saints Records, SLG Records|
Born in Solak, Armenia, 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.
In 1998 he released an album with a unique duduk quartet he formed. Creating arrangements for four musicians with "new duduk tones, alto and bass, was an extremely difficult task" and challenge, but the quartet did become a reality performing and "there is no other like it in the world", he witnessed in the liner notes of Nazeli.
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 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 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.
Gasparyan passed away on July 6, 2021. It was announced by his grandson, Djivan Gasparyan Jr. He said "The world has suffered an unimaginable loss tonight. He was not only a legend, but also a person with a beautiful soul. I write with great sorrow about my huge loss. May God keep your soul in the bright sky."
- Duduk. Armenian folk songs (Мелодия / Melody, 1983) / I Will Not Be Sad in This World (All Saints Records, 1989)
- Moon Shines at Night (All Saints Records, 1993)
- Ask Me No Questions (Traditional Crossroads 4268, 1994)
- Apricots From Eden (Traditional Crossroads 4276, 1996)
- Salute (1998)
- Black Rock, with Michael Brook (Realworld 46230, 1998)
- Djivan Gasparyan Quartet - Nazeli (Libra Music 1998)
- Heavenly Duduk (Network 1999)
- Armenian Fantasies (Network 34801, 2000)
- Nazani (2001)
- Fuad, with Erkan Ogur (Traditional Turkish & Armenian songs) (2001)
- In My World, I Have No Pain (World Records - Parseghian Records, 2002)
- Endless Vision: Persian And Armenian Songs, with Hossein Alizadeh (World Village, Harmonia Mundi, 2005)
- Nectar for the Bitter World (2007)
- The Soul of Armenia (Network Medien’s double-CD package 2008)
- Penumbra, with Michael Brook (Canadian Rational/bigHelium, 2008)
Collaborations as guest artist
- Dead Bees On A Cake, David Sylvian; (Gasparyan appears on the track 'Darkest Dreaming')
- Cosmopoly, as guest of Andreas Vollenweider (EDEL Records, SLG Records (USA/Canada)
- Naked Spirit, special guest of Sainkho, 1998
- Eden Roc, Ludovico Einaudi, (1999) (Gasparyan appears on 3 tracks)
- Free Fall, Jesse Cook (Narada, 2000) (Gasparyan appears on the track "Incantation")
- Blood of the Snake, Derek Sherinian (2006) (Gasparyan appears on the track "Prelude To Battle")
- RockPaperScissors, Michael Brook (EQR 0006, 2006) (Gasparyan appears on track "Pasadena part two")
- Pangea with Lian Ensemble (Houman Pourmehdi & Piraye Pourafar), Swapan Chaudhuri and Miroslav Tadić (Lian Records 118, 2006)
- Lightpost EP by The Apex Theory featuring Djivan Gasparyan (2007)
Selection of film soundtrack contributions
- "Biography". Jivan Gasparyan Official Website. Archived from the original on 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- allmusic gives birth year as 1928.
- Legendary Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparayn dies aged 92
- On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring - Page 87 by Fred Karlin, Rayburn Wright
- World Music: The Rough Guide - Page 334 by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, Richard Trillo
- "Djivan Gasparyan at MSN music". Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Jivan Gasparyan, Grammy, 2020
- "An Evening with Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook | Asbarez.com". asbarez.com. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
- Biography at AllMusic
- Nercessian, Andy (2001-08-28). The Duduk and National Identity in Armenia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-1-4616-7272-2.
- "Armenian apricot stone becomes a tree". eurovision.tv.
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