By Artsvi Bakhchinyan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
TREVISO/YEREVAN — Italian composer and conductor Gianni Ephrikian has collaborated with numerous artists of all musical genres. He has produced several records on his record label Holly Music. In 2015 and 2016 he received the International Artist of the Year and International Music Producer for instrumental music at the Los Angeles Music Awards. In 2017 he received an award in Las Vegas (the Best of Las Vegas) for instrumental music and in November 2017 again in Hollywood as “Outstanding International Conductor.” In 2019 he won the Film Music Contest with the soundtrack of Slovakian short film “Water for Africa.”
Ephrikian is a grandson of philologist Sukias-Hakob Ephrikian (1873-1952), originally from Akhaltsikhe, in the historic Javakhk region that gave many eminent representatives to the Armenian culture. Sukias Ephrikian was a member of Mekhitarian Congregation in Venice; his voluminous study Illustrated Dictionary of the Historic Homeland remains one of the most important Armenian dictionaries.
He met Italian Laura Zasso, whose grandfather, artist Giuliano Zasso (1833-1889) created some painting on Armenian mythology by order of Mekhitarians. Sukias-Hakob (Giacomo) lived an isolated life in Treviso, far from the Armenians, working in a printing house. This union devoted to Italian culture produced an eminent musicologist, composer and violinist, Angelo-Vahan Ephrikian (1913-1982). In turn, Angelo Ephrikian and his Venetian wife, Bruna, gave two professionals to Italian art: composer and conductor Gianni Ephrikian and film actress Laura Efrikian.
Dear Gianni, I was impressed by your music, regardless of your Armenian surname. Is it difficult to establish yourself as a composer in such a musical country as Italy?