Exclusive Interview with Violinist, Ashot Dumanyan

Tell us about how you first started playing the violin, what made you decide to pursue a professional career in music? 

I started playing the violin at the age of six years old because my father wanted me to learn it. In all honesty, I wasn’t very serious about it or enjoying it until I became a teenager and a flip switched in me; eventually I became more interested and started working hard to become better at it. I got chosen to receive a scholarship to attend Yerevan’s Tchaikovsky Music School where my passion for violin grew into a professional pursuit. After graduating, I further mastered my knowledge in music at Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan as a teacher’s assistant while earning a Master of Music in Violin Performance.

Who influenced you to learn the instrument? 

My father. All I wanted to do was go outside and play soccer, but he wanted me to practice violin instead. We eventually made a deal where he let me play soccer if I practiced enough that day.

You are also a musical instructor, other than the technicalities of learning how to play an instrument, what do you wish to impart to your students? 

I’m all about properly guiding students by reinforcing good techniques and helping them gain the necessary endurance to stay motivated and build a strong foundation for their musical journeys. Learning an instrument is not easy and people tend to burn out quickly. I strongly believe that “slow and steady wins the race” and start my students off on the right path for greater success and longevity by introducing proper habits early on.

With so many playing opportunities shut down, how have you kept your momentum to perform? 

I put together an orchestra with one of my good friends who is also a music director. We hosted many virtual performances as well as in-person performances to a limited audience. After the initial shutdowns happened and things started to re-open, people still wanted to host low-key weddings and events so thankfully, I did still have plenty of work and projects to keep busy with.

If you didn’t become a musician, what do you think you’d be doing? 

I’d strive to be professional soccer player.

If you had one message to aspiring musicians, what would that be? 

Work towards familiarizing yourself with and being well-versed in more than one industry. When one industry isn’t being receptive to you, tackle the other. Eventually you’ll choose the direction you want to flourish in. Have a back-up plan(s). This is more business advice than anything, but essential for the survival and success rate of any working musician in Los Angeles.

What upcoming projects do you currently have in the works? 

The orchestra I’m heavily involved in (Voce dell’Orchestra) is going to have a holiday concert that we’re putting together for December. We’re so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to play for audiences again and cherish it more than ever!

How can our readers connect with you? 

Through my website at www.ashotdumanyan.com, or find me on Instagram @violinist.ashot – I look forward to connecting!

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