‘A huge loss’: Armenians bid final farewell to legendary duduk player Jivan Gasparyan

Panorama, Armenia

Culture 19:12 24/07/2021Armenia

Legendary duduk player Jivan Gasparyan’s death is a huge loss for the Armenian people, duduk payer Kamo Seyranyan told reporters on Saturday, as Armenians bade a final farewell to the master at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall in Yerevan.

Jivan Gasparyan passed away in the US on 6 July at the age of 92. He will be buried at the Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan.

“Not only the Armenian culture, but also the Armenian people have suffered a huge loss, we have lost the legendary master of duduk,” Seyranyan said.

He underlined that dudukists learned a lot from the master.

“In recent years, I had the honor of being friends with him, his jokes were interesting. Once he said, ‘I have built the road and turned on the lights, get on the road!" He really created a great path for us, duduk players, the duduk received world-class recognition,” Seyranyan said.

Actor Michael Poghosyan descried Jivan Gasparyan a “wise Armenian man”, adding he was the only Armenian living in Yerevan who received worldwide recognition.

“His voice sounded like duduk, his melody sounded like duduk and it all came from the heart. His kindness, wisdom, aphorisms … I use those aphorisms in daily life,” Poghosyan said.

The actor remembered Jivan Gasparyan once telling him, "When your friend gets a position, you need to get to know him again."

“He called me once and said, ‘Misha jan [dear]. I have brought you a present from the US. I visited him and saw that it was a pair of shoes. He’s like, ‘I saw these stylish shoes and thought that they would be suitable only for you.’ I still keep the shoes as a great memory. Losing the master is very painful, but he went to eternity,” the actor noted.

Duduk player Gevorg Dabaghyan expressed gratitude to the master for everything.

“Even in the most difficult and undesirable life situations, he still knew how to find a way out with his humor, words, he knew how to solve problems. He had a unique energy on stage. When we sat down to a meal together after the rehearsals, he would say, "Until death gets to me, there will be no more death’,” he said.

Dabaghyan recalled a story: “After a concert in Turkey, reporters asked Gasparyan, ‘You keep saying that the duduk is an Armenian instrument and Armenians play it the best, but we also play it well.’ In response, Gasparyan said, ‘We also play the balalaika, but it is not Armenian.’ That is, he wanted to say that the Turks can also play the duduk, but it cannot be Turkish.”

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