Conductor, performer of duduk & Shvi (Folk wind instruments).
Born Anjar, Lebanon, Maestro Zakar Keshishian got his training in Folk Instruments and Choir Conducting at the Komtas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia. He completed his post-graduate studies with distinction, also in Yerevan, in 1996.
Keshishian has founded and conducted a number of choirs both in Lebanon and Armenia. A born pedagogue, he is beloved by the young singers of his children’s choirs and much respected by the members of the adult mixed choirs he has led. A firm believer in the magical properties of music in general and choir music in particular, Keshishian has guided many students both in war-torn Lebanon and in Armenia to the world of beauty and the art. Many of the members of his choirs, as well as many of his theory and wind instrument students at the National Conservatory of Lebanon or at the Armenian Ganatchian Music School (Lebanon) have embraced professional musicians’ careers.
He is the founder of several choirs: the Gakavig choir of the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society (1988); Dziadzan (1992); Varanda (1992) in the town of Shushi, Mountainous Karabakh (Artsakh); the Gargatch choir (1997) and the Ayc Armenian Youth Choir (2008), the latter two under the auspices of the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society.
Keshishian was co-director of the Parsegh Ganatchian Musical College in 1998-2000. He is currently the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Varanda Children's and Junior Youth Choir in Shushi, as well as the Gargatch Children's Juvenile Choir and the Ayc Youth Choir and folk orchestra in Beirut. He has also led the Shnorhali choir of the Catholicosate of Cilicia (Antelias, Lebanon) in 2006 - 2009.
In addition to his regular performances with his choirs in Lebanon and Armenia, Keshishian has also toured and performed extensively in Australia, Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Egypt, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. He has played in various folk-instrument ensembles in both Anjar and Beirut.
In parallel to his career as a conductor and a performer of shvi and duduk, Keshishian is currently a professor at the National Conservatory of Music and at Haigazian University.
In 2012 he participated to Esterazy international festival performing the world premiere of George Pelecis’s “Ahoush’s story” with the renowned ” Cremereata Baltica” orchestra (Aristic director: Gidon Kremmer).
Keshishian has been decorated with various medals by the Armenian and Lebanese governments and has received several awards. His discography includes a recording of Armenian Spiritual Songs by the “Varanda” Choir of Shushi (“Fortress City”, Pomegranate records, 2005) and a duet of Armenian music for shvi and piano with his wife, pianist Kamila Keshishian (“Nrneni”, Hamazkayin Cultural Union, 2007).A documantery film (“Singing Summers” , 2012) is released about his musical achievements in Armenia.