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Biography

Şahan Arzruni (Armenian: Շահան Արծրունի; born on June 8, 1943) is an Armenian classical pianist, composer, ethnomusicologist, lecturer, writer and producer, residing in New York City.

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 , 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 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.
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.
Arzruni records for New World Records, Composers Recordings, Musical Heritage Society, Hearts of Space, Philips, Varèse Sarabande, Good Music, Positively Armenian and Kalan Müzik.

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