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Tigran Aleksanyan

"Music is my narcotic”, says Tigran Aleksanyan.

Born in the Ararat Mountains in Armenia, he plays the duduk, one of the most popular of Armenian flutes and a key instrument in the country's folk traditions.

Tigran's parents encouraged him in his love for music from the very start. He says that even as a small child, music was important, and he began his musical career singing and drumming on chairs. Tigran's father enrolled him into music school from the age of nine. Initially he learned the shvi flute before moving on to the duduk, and from there to further training at music college.

Aleksanyan studied the duduk under two of the country's greatest masters among others, absorbing their secrets and different styles and whatever else he could to develop his own musical style and voice. He also studied at and graduated from the Armenian Conservatory in 1992.

At seventeen, he was already a member of the Armenian State Dance Ensemble, and later also joined Akhtamar Dance Group, and toured extensively in France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Iraq and the UK.

Having played a number of concerts in London, including a performance at Logan Hall, Tigran moved to Britain in 2001. For him and his music, London opens up a new world where he has found "new friends and new people interested in the duduk".

He is passionate about his music and his duduk. He still has the first duduk he ever owned - and remembers that he was so excited about it that he slept with it in his bed! In London he plays solo and in ensembles, and says that hearing two duduks together is "like husband and wife, like a dialogue between two people". Tigran has performed in ensembles for a CD and film score.

Video: Andrew Cronshaw & Tigran Aleksanyan (duduk) | Christmas 2008