Djivan Gasparyan

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Djivan Gasparyan
Djivan Gasparyan in 2009
Djivan Gasparyan in 2009
Background information
Born (1928-10-12) October 12, 1928 (age 92)
Solak, Armenia
GenresArmenian folk
Occupation(s)composer, score composer, musician
Years active1948–present
LabelsAll Saints Records, SLG Records
Associated acts

Djivan Gasparyan (var. Jivan Gasparyan;[1] Armenian: Ջիվան Գասպարյան, Armenian pronunciation: [dʒiˈvɑn ɡɑspɑɾˈjɑn]; born October 12, 1928[1][2]) is an Armenian musician and composer. He plays the duduk, a double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Gasparyan is known as the "Master of the duduk".[3][4][5] In 2006 he was nominated for Grammy awards for the Best Traditional World Music Album.[6]


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.[7]

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.[8] 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,[7] he has instructed and nurtured many performers to professional levels of performance in duduk.

In 1998 he released an album with a unique duduk quartet he formed. Creating arrangements for 4 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 lines notes of Nazeli.

He has 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 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.[9]

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,[10] but was not officially listed as a guest artist.


  • 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

Selection of film soundtrack contributions


  1. ^ a b "Biography". Jivan Gasparyan Official Website. Archived from the original on 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  2. ^ allmusic gives birth year as 1928.
  3. ^ On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring - Page 87 by Fred Karlin, Rayburn Wright
  4. ^ World Music: The Rough Guide - Page 334 by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham, Richard Trillo
  5. ^ "Djivan Gasparyan at MSN music". Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  6. ^ Jivan Gasparyan, Grammy, 2020
  7. ^ a b "An Evening with Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook |". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  8. ^ Biography at AllMusic
  9. ^ Nercessian, Andy (2001-08-28). The Duduk and National Identity in Armenia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-1-4616-7272-2.
  10. ^ "Armenian apricot stone becomes a tree".

External links[edit]