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Pianist and teacher killed in roadside accidentby Rob Hayes
Copyright © 2003 Rob Hayes
Rob Hayes (Asst. Vice President for Public Information, Berklee College of Music), writes:
I'm sorry to inform you that Asst. Professor of Piano David Azarian has died. He was killed in an automobile accident while changing a tire at the side of the road.
Although David had only been on the Berklee faculty for a short period of time, he had lived in the Boston area for more than a decade, and had many dear friends among our teachers, administrators and students.
Originally from Armenia, David grew up a musician in the Soviet classical conservatory system. But friends got him listening to Willis Conover's jazz radio broadcasts on the Voice of America, and this fed his burgeoning love of jazz. He once said, "When you are in a jail, that music makes you wonder what kind of country produced it. I tell you, Conover was America's best weapon to destroy socialism and Communism."
David came to the United States in 1989 to play a series of concerts, and extended his stay to do several benefits for Armenian earthquake relief. What was intended to be a concert tour became a love affair with this new country and his new wife, and he made the U.S. his home.
He was an excellent pianist, with many glowing reviews of his CDs from the first rank of international jazz journalists. He had only last week performed with his electric band, including John Baboian, Jamey Haddad, John Lockwood, and guest Joe Lovano, all fellow Berklee professors, at the Regattabar, one of the country's premier jazz venues.
He is survived by his wife Vicki and two daughters, Christina, 9, and Nicole, 4. David also has a son by an earlier relationship in Armenia, Dennis, 26, who David helped bring to this country a decade ago. He is also survived by his mother, Oktyabrina Mikelian, his father, Vruir, and a sister, Parandzaen, all in Armenia. David was 51 years old.
Donations in David's memory, to support his two youngest children, can be made to the Amaras Arts Alliance, Inc., for the David Azarian Family Fund, c/o Watertown Savings Bank, P.O. Box 230 Watertown, MA 02471.
Rob Hayes is Asst. Vice President for Public Information at Berklee College of Music in Boston.