|Born||8 June 1943 (age 70)
Istanbul, Turkey (Armenian nationality)
Early life and education
Arzruni (also transliterated as Ardzruni) was born in Istanbul, Turkey, whose family name belongs to an ancient Armenian dynasty. He received his general education at Esayan and Getronagan Armenian Lyceums, and graduated from the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory [now Istanbul University State Conservatory], where he studied piano with Ferdi Statzer and harmony with Raşit Abed.
He moved to New York in 1964 to study further at the Juilliard School of Music on a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. There his principal teachers were Sascha Gorodnitzki in piano, Felix Galimir in chamber music, and Joseph Bloch in piano literature. Arzruni graduated from Juilliard, earning his bachelor's degree in 1967 and a master's degree in 1968. Arzruni has also pursued doctoral studies at New York University.
Motivated by ethnic awareness in the United States, Arzruni continuously investigates the musical roots of his Armenian heritage. He researches traditional Armenian music and has recorded a three-disc anthology of Armenian piano music, and co-produced an eight-disc set of instrumental and vocal Armenian music. He also delivered papers and organized symposia for such institutions as Harvard University, Columbia University and University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Şahan Arzruni is the author of books and a contributor of articles for academic journals; he has also written for various editions of The New Grove Dictionary and the Dictionary of the Middle Ages.
A Steinway artist, he was invited to perform on an 1869 Steinway piano at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the inaugural of the centennial celebrations of the Museum’s collection of historic instruments. In 2001, Mr. Arzruni delivered a lecture on Armenian liturgical chants at the invitation of the U.S. Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.
Şahan Arzruni has performed with Victor Borge, playing the role of straight man in Borge's concerts starting with the late 1960s, and appeared with Borge at the 1980 Royal Variety Show Command Performance where the pair performed Borge's classic comedic arrangement for duet piano of Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody.
Arzruni appeared in television and radio broadcasts, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Mike Douglas Show and a number of PBS specials and has recorded for European radio networks, including the BBC. Arzruni has given command performances at the White House, as well as the British, Danish, Swedish, and Icelandic courts. In 2008, he was awarded "Honorary Professorship" from Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory in Armenia.
- Komitas: Complete Works for Piano (2011, Kalan)
- Childhood Memories (2001, New World Records)
- Midnight Chopin (1995, Good Music)
- Hovhaness: Visionary Landscapes (1991, Hearts of Space)
- Talma: Three Bagatelles, Kaleidoscopic Variations (1987, CRI)
- An Anthology of Armenian Piano Music / 3 LPs (1979, Musical Heritage Society)
- Moross: Sonata for Piano Duet and Strings (1979, Varèse Sarabande Records)
- Haydn: Complete Sonatas with violin (1977, Musical Heritage Society)
- Toccatas (1974, Musical Heritage Society)
- Bartók: For Children (1974, Musical Heritage Society)
- Kabalevsky: Children’s Pieces (1973, Musical Heritage Society)
- Khachaturian: Children’s Album I & II (1972, Musical Heritage Society)
- Armenian Composers in Asia Minor / 2 CDs (2008, Kalan)
- Karamanuk: Memories of Love (2005, Yeghishe Charentz Museum)
- Karamanuk: Children’s Songs (2003, Yeghishe Charentz Museum)
- Karamanuk: Choral Music (2001, Albany Records)
- Yekmalian: Divine Liyurgy (2002, Diocese of the Armenian Church)
- Galanderian: Children’s Songs (2001, Fund for Armenian Relief)
- Gazarossian: A Memorial Album (1997, private)
- A Survey of Armenian Music / 8 LPs – Co-producer (1987, Positively Armenian)
- Komitas: A Centenary Album / 2 LPs – Artistic Director (1970, Komitas Centennial Committee)
- "Alumni News: February 2010". Juilliard.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. "Sahan Arzruni (Diploma ’65, BS ’67, MS ’68, piano)"