Article written by Birthright Armenia and Dilijan Community Center Volunteers
In Dilijan, the forested hills are alive with the sound of music. At least, when Khachik Ghazaryan was young, they were.
Born in 1945 to a musically inclined family, Khachik spent his youth listening to the tunes of Dilijan. Able to learn by ear, Khachik loved and quickly mastered the duduk, clarinet and kamancheh.
After studying at a Soviet vocational college and completing his compulsory military service in Moscow, Khachik realized his dream of returning to Armenia and reinvesting in his hometown as director of the Dilijan Cultural House.
Following this, he studied in Vanadzor to broaden and improve his musical abilities. With formal education, his natural talent shone, and he returned to his hometown of Dilijan to teach music. The community orchestra he organized frequently competed in Moscow and received recognition as one of the best musical ensembles in the entire Soviet Union.
Unfortunately, due to economic struggles, Khachik’s community orchestra was disbanded after Armenia gained independence from the Soviet Union. Now, his country’s economic troubles continue to be a personal cause for concern. His two sons and daughter are professional musicians, but because of the lack of opportunity in Armenia, they live and work in Russia.
Despite his family’s difficulties, Khachik’s wife, Lyudmila, confirms he is an optimist. Khachik believes that Armenia will recover in 10 or 15 years, and Dilijan will once again have the resources to house a community ensemble. Until then, Khachik feels tied to Dilijan. There may be hardships, but he hopes to remain there for the rest of his life.