Richard Hagopian


Richard Avedis Hagopian was born in Fowler, California in 1937 into an Armenian family that had fled to the United States after the Armenian Genocide in 1915. He began to learn the violin and clarinet at the age of nine, followed by the oud two years later. At first he taught himself, but went on to study Turkish music theory and oud under the Armenian kanun player Garbis Bakirgian, and also took lessons by correspondence from the legendary Armenian oud player Udi Hrant Kenkulian. Hagopian became well known in the 1960s and 70s as a member of Buddy Sarkissian's Kef Time Band, recording four LPs with the group. They went on to become the most famous band playing this style of Armenian-American dance music, and Hagopian has performed annually at 'Kef Time' events in the US for over thirty years. As well as giving concerts, he has also been artist-in-residence at California State University and was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989. Richard Hagopian currently lives in Visalia, California, where runs a delicatessan with his family; his son, Harold Hagopian, is a well-known violinist who manages the independent record label Traditional Crossroads.


Selected Recordings

Best of Armenian Folk Music
(ARC Music EUCD 1222)

A selection of Armenian folk melodies and Turkish classical pieces adapted by Hagopian for oud and ensemble.

1. Bardezum (Ashugh Sheram) 3:40
2. Yarimo (Tatul Altoonian) 2:30
3. Sirdus Vura Kar Ma Ga (Oudi Hrant Kenkulian) 3:46
4. Anush Yares Heratza (Oudi Hrant Kenkulian) 2:29
5. Ghurgeet - Chant (Oudi Hrant Kenkulian) 4:14
6. Parov Yegar Siroon Yar (Oudi Hrant Kenkulian) 4:15
7. Suzinak Saz-Semai (Kemani Tateyos Ekserjian) 4:37
8. Rast Taksim (Solo Oud Improvisation) 4:04
9. Rast Pesrev (Kemani Tateyos Ekserjian) 3:22
10. Naz Bar (Traditional Solo Woman's Dance) 2:37
11. Candle Dance (Traditional Wedding Dance) 2:00
12. Agh Im Anush Yarus (Trad. Love Song) 2:58
13. Huseyni Taksim (Solo Oud Improvisation) 6:52
14. Huseyni Saz-Semai (Kemani Tateyos Ekserjian) 5:03


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