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Ara Topouzian


Dec 15, 2021

Ara Topouzian (born in 1969) is an Armenian musician who began playing Armenian and Middle Eastern music in 1991. He plays the kanon.[1]

Armenian musician (born 1969)
Photo of Ara Topouzian and the kanun, an Armenian/Middle Eastern laptop harp with over 76-strings.

. . . Ara Topouzian . . .

In 1991, he formed American Recording Productions (ARP) with the intent to record and preserve this type of world music. This record label has produced over thirty recordings of Armenian and Middle Eastern music, including one of Topouzian’s albums, Live from Detroit.[2]

In 2012, Topouzian was awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowship. He was among 24 literary and performing artists who received the 2012 Kresge Artist Fellowships, which provide support metro Detroit artists.[3][4] He was also invited to the Virginia Commonwealth University Symphony, performing a composition written for the Kanun by VCU Music Professor and Composer Doug Richards entitled “Ben Seni Variations.”.[5][6]

In 2013, Topouzian received a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to produce a documentary on the history of Armenian music and the musicians from Detroit, Michigan.[7][8]

On March 16, 2015, Topouzian released a film documentary on Detroit Public Television[9] entitled Guardians of Music: A History of Armenian Music in Detroit.[10][11][12]

On March 27, 2015, Iit was announced that Topouzian was the 2015 Artist in Residence in Farmington Hills, Michigan. This is an award given each year to a resident of Farmington or Farmington Hills, Michigan who displays exceptional talent and artistic accomplishments.[13][14] Topouzian performed a concert of Armenian music with proceeds benefiting the City of Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Division that honored him with the Artist in Residence award on January 23, 2016.[15]

In 2014, Topouzian joined the Mark Gavoor Ensemble to perform a concert of Armenian folk music in Walla Walla, Washington for Whitman College.

HOUR Media featured a story about Ara Topouzian.[16]

. . . Ara Topouzian . . .

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. . . Ara Topouzian . . .