Georgy Minasyan (Minasov) (July 18, 1933 – August 20, 2020) was a duduk master player, inventor, music teacher and Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia. His musical mastery has left a legacy in the preservation of the Armenian folk tradition.
Georgy Minasyan graduated from the Baku Musical College in Azerbaijan and performed with the Folk Instruments Orchestra of the Azerbaijan National Radio and Television as a soloist. In 1983 he moved to Yerevan, Armenia and joined the Gussan and Folk Music Ensemble. Georgy Minasyan taught duduk at the R.Melikyan Music College in Yerevan and performed in Armenia, Europe and all around the world.
In 1998 Georgy Minasyan founded the “Dudukner Ensemble”, a duduk ensemble playing national Armenian music, classical and sacred music, Russian, West-European compositions and jazz music only on duduks. The ensemble was active for over a decade. They scored several soundtracks for award winning international films like the 2004 documentary “Eternal Hour” (a film about “Narekatzy” – Gregory of Narek – Grigor Narekatsi).
The ensemble won several prizes for their performances and scores, including the first prize in Kiev’s International Film Festival in 2005 and the first place in the ‘Golden Apricot’ film festival in Yerevan. Their score for the film “Long Way Home” featuring the Canadian opera singer Isabel Bayrakdarian was praised for the outstanding arrangements of three folk songs by Komitas.
Georgy Minasyan has performed internationally throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and North America. He played with artists like Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Ron Carter and many more, most recently in Toronto, Canada in January 2019, a concert with his trio the “Mystical Duduk”.
Besides being a masterful performer, Georgy Minasyan was also an experienced teacher, an inventor and a tireless investigator of the instrument. His patented modifications to the traditional duduk include a system of additional metal levers to increase the instrument’s range and significantly expand its repertoire beyond traditional folk tunes.
Georgy Minasyan is the author of many academic music books on how to play the duduk. His “Armenian Duduk Method” is a result of many years of performing and teaching. He also published new arrangements of Komitas songs for Duduk and piano with titles in Armenian and English. He is the author of the education books: “Duduk For Beginners Complete Method and Repertoire” and “Duduk Virtuoso: Scales and Exercises for Traditional and Extended Range Armenian Duduk” as well as Duduk “Repertoire Vol. I and II”.