By Aram Arkun
NEW YORK — Narek Arutyunyan, a gifted 18-year-old clarinetist, is a long way away from his hometown.
Arutyunyan, born in Gumri, came here this summer to perfect his skills. He is studying at Queens College in a master class with Charles Neidich, the noted clarinetist and conductor.
Arutyunyan’s father, Karen Arutyunyan, is himself a clarinetist who performs Armenian jazz and popular Armenian music.
Narek Arutyunyan explained that “as a result, I liked the clarinet a lot as a young child, and always wanted to learn it. My family also thought about teaching me the saxophone, but I insisted on the clarinet.”
In preparation, Arutyunyan began to play the shvi, an Armenian woodwind instrument, at the age of 7. After a few years, he began learning the clarinet.