By Alin K. Gregorian
LEXINGTON, Mass. — For Edward Avedisian, education is the key to the future of Armenia and that is why he is helping children there.
Avedisian, who retired eight years ago as a clarinetist with the Boston Pops after 35 years and spent 43 seasons with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, is focusing on the education of the poorest children in Armenia. He founded the Koren and Shooshanig Avedisian K-12 School in the Malatia-Sebastia portion of Yerevan, a neighborhood so poor that it is commonly known as “Bangladesh.”
Avedisian recalled his decision to delve into the world of music as a boy. “The credit — or blame — goes to Aram Chobanian who was our next-door neighbor,” he recalled in a recent interview. He was a few years older than Avedisian and a contemporary of his older brother. “Aram played the clarinet. He was like the pace car. My older brother followed him” and then gave it up, only for the younger Avedisian to pick it up.
Avedisian recalled working with many Pops conductors, including the late Arthur Fiedler, John Williams and Keith Lockhart, feeling especially proud to do so on the traditional Armenian Night at Pops every June. He said he felt the most kinship with Fiedler.
“I had a wonderful career,” he recalled, singling out his delight in performing with the late soprano, Dame Joan Sutherland, and the late tenor, Luciano Pavarotti.
In addition to performing, he has taught at Boston University and Endicott College.
After leaving the world of music, Avedisian took his savings and his pension and decided to invest them. He read up on the market and invested carefully.