German Saxophone Player Karola Elssner in Armenia

From November 22-30 the German professional saxophone player Karola Elssner was in Armenia. This was Karola’s fourth visit to Armenia, the main reason of which was making perfect her skills of playing Armenian duduk by the help of Tigran Ayvazyan from Gyumri.

During the visit Karola also met the duduk-maker Arthur Grigoryan and also toured in Yerevan, Artsakh and so on.

About Karola’s impressions you can get acquainted by the help of Ani Harutyunyan’s video-interview.

How long are you in Armenia?

This time I am here for about a week. I am here for the fourth time and this time for a week.

And what is the main reason of your visiting? Sightseeing or making perfect your playing duduk?

Well of course my first aim is playing duduk. In Germany I can’t find any teachers and I have found a wonderful teacher here and have to come.

How long are you playing duduk, and is it difficult to play for you?

I play for about a year and I am a professional saxophone player and of course it’s the same ordinary thing to play saxophone or duduk but I’ll leave that same that two.

How many hours do you play a day?

Well, it’s not possible to play every day, because I am busy at home for I have to play many concerts. If there is time maybe four or five times a week I play for an hour.

And how have you met the duduk player Tigran Ayvazyan, by Internet or by someone else? And if it’s not a secret, in what language do you communicate to him?

Last year in September in 2007 I was in Gyumri. There is KOHAR music school and I gave some master classes for the saxophone students. And I told my students I want to play duduk, do you know anyone who plays. And they are very close friends to Tigran and they said we will call Tigran he will come here. And then I found a perfect teacher. Well and I have found him. We speak in Russian.

And how have you met Arthur Grigoryan?

I think he is a close friend to Tigran and when I asked him I want to by some good duduks, where do I have to go? Tigran called Arthur and so we got in touch.

Do you often take part in duduk concerts in Germany?

Well there are no concerts in Germany of duduk. There was only one during May, Gevorg Dabaghyan was there in Germany and I think this was the only concert in whole Germany, yes.

And you play there in a group yes, not solo?

I do solo concerts, I play in quartet I also play in jazz bands or in orchestra. I do everything.

We know that you have your saxophone classes (You teach saxophone) in Germany. Aren’t you going to organize any duduk classes with them?

There are no instruments at first and if pupils want to play of course I will do everything to invite really good teachers from Armenia to establish school or something like this for they have all possibilities to learn to play duduk.

Interviewer: Ani Harutyunyan


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