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Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gultekin
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After studying the duduk under master instrumentalist Khatchik Khachatryan, Vardan Hovanissian developed into a talented ambassador for one of the most ancient of double-reed instruments and the embodiment of the very sound and soul of Armenia.

More than twenty years ago he found a musical soulmate in Emre Gültekin, who was initiated into the art of the Turkish saz by Talip Özkan and his father, the bard Lütfü Gültekin.

A friendship capable of overcoming frontiers has brought them to ‘Adana’, their first CD as a duo.  The album symbolises reconciliation and friendship between two cultures that have many roots in common. The harmonious match of the Armenian and Turkish song texts with the melancholy timbre of the Armenian duduk and the virtuosity of the Turkish saz and tanbûr make for an album that shows it is possible to look at history and generate something positive.

Their second album “Karin” is the ancient Armenian name for the town of Erzurum, located in what is now Turkey.  It refers to the birthplace of Vardan Hovanissian’s grandfather, who was one of 200 survivors following the deportation of around 40,000 people during the Armenian genocide.  The album is dedicated to the cosmopolitan period in Karin, which was a meeting place for the different cultures that existed along the Silk Road. 

This album sees the duo continuing their exploration of the links between Turkish and Armenian traditions.  It broadens the scope to take in the richness of the musical heritage of the troubled region including Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Iran and the Kurdish area.

Inspired by a wandering soul and guided by a borderless friendship, the duo’s music weaves links between languages and styles.  This latest collaboration is a hymn to intercultural exchanges, and it derives its strength from a spirit of sharing and generosity.  It delves into the wide variety of traditional repertoires, bringing several lost treasures back to life, but also offers new compositions that address topical issues such as the fate of refugees.

Vardan & Emre duo's music has graced the stages of over 200 concerts across Europe, leaving audiences in awe.Their performances have taken place in some of the most prestigious venues, festivals, and universities in Europe, solidifying their place as one of the most talented duos in the world music industry making them a must-see act for music lovers everywhere.

Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gultekin

Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gultekin
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Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin - New Album Teaser 2018

Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin - New Album Teaser 2018

01:36
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Vardan Hovanissian (duduk) & Emre Gültekin (saz) Live at Budapest Ritmo Festival

Vardan Hovanissian (duduk) & Emre Gültekin (saz) Live at Budapest Ritmo Festival

23:51
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Vardan Hovanissian, & Emre Gültekin - Adana, Trad (live @Bimhuis Amsterdam)

Vardan Hovanissian, & Emre Gültekin - Adana, Trad (live @Bimhuis Amsterdam)

04:28
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Vardan Hovanissian (duduk) & Emre Gültekin (saz) - Vard Siretsi

Vardan Hovanissian (duduk) & Emre Gültekin (saz) - Vard Siretsi

03:51
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Press

Tradition, poésie, compositions récentes, sobriété, retenue, délicatesse, envolées des instruments et des voix à travers les petites histoires et la grande Histoire, tels sont les ingrédients d’un disque d’une étonnante dignité humaine.

Etienne Bours- 5 Planetes des mondes demusiques 

...we abandon ourselves purely and simply to the captivating sadness of the doudouk, whose nostalgic sob mourns the bruised homeland, the broke heroes and the destroyed cities (Adana).

Anne Berthod La Vie (FR)

Duduk player Vardan Hovanissian and singer and sazbe player Emre Gültekin previously made a blood-curdlingly beautiful album together, Adana, and this album is again of an unimaginable melancholic beauty that moves me to tears. And I won't say more about it. Listen! More hopeful music is rarely made.

Moors Magazine Oct, 2018

The first piece played was "Havun Havun", the melody of the resurrection written by the 10th-century Armenian spiritual poet, Grigor Narekatsi. Right then we understand that we are dealing with a literally millennial musical tradition, brought to the present day by the skillful hands of the two artists. Jumping between different regions and times, the concert perfectly represents the historical lack of borders in the sharing of stories, music and instruments, common to the current countries that have defined themselves there...

...such as love, sadness, the challenges of "improvising" on the paths of popular music with more successful compositions dedicated to the memory of tormented history of the Armenian people: their extermination (“Getaschen”, “Hrant Dink”, “Adana” and “Mamiki”), the hard work of the miners at home and abroad in “Madenciler”, the lyrics of Lüftü Gütelkin who sing the beauty of the mountains (“Dağlar”), finally the dedication to the journalist Hrant Dink, murdered in 2007 for his opinions regarding the persecution and genocide of the Armenian people.

Folk Bulletin, Italy

Concerts 

13/04/24   Grand Auditorium, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, PT)

19/11/23   Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg, DE)
20/11/22   Festival in Oost-Vlaanderen (Wortegem-Petegem, BE)
12/10/22  
Alte Oper Frankfurt (Frankfurt, DE)

30/09/22   Festival in Oost-Vlaanderen (Wetteren, BE)

24/09/22   Festival in Oost-Vlaanderen - Ninove (Ninove, BE)

17/09/22   Odegand (Gent, BE)

10/07/22   Forde Festival (Forde, NO )

11/05/22   ADEMAR Support Night - Muziekpublique (Brussels , BE)

01/05/22   Wereldlokaal Zutphen (Zutphen, NL)

01/05/22   Schouwburg Lochem (Lochem, NL)

30/04/22   Bibliotheek Deventer (Deventer, NL)

29/04/22   Vestzaktheater (Enschede, NL)

28/04/22   Akoesticum (Ede, NL)

 

12/12/21   Het Koelhuis (Zutphen , NL)

12/12/21   Schouwburg (Lochem, NL)

11/12/21   Vestzaktheater (Enschede, NL)

10/12/21   Bibliotheek Deventer (Deventer, NL)

05/12/21   Musée de Cannes (Cannes, FR)

17/11/21   Cultuurhuis De Leest (Izegem, BE)