Lucine Zakarian

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She has been called the the voice of Armenia. Educated at the Romanos Melikian School of Music in Yerevan and later at the Komitas Conservatory of Music, Lucine's voice introduced to the world the sacred music of Armenia.

Born to a musical family, she later changed her name from Svetlana to Lucine, a derivation of the word luys, which means light in Armenian. Her involvement with Armenian church music was in great part due to a man she would marry, then a priest, Khoren Palian. At the advice of the Catholicos, His Holiness Vazgen the First, who saw in Lucine the future 'voice of Armenia', Palian dedicated his entire life to sharing his knowledge with Lucine, enriching her life with 'sharakans' (sacred songs).

Lucine Zakarian's broad repertoire included Mozart, Handel, Schubert, Bach, Rossini, and Lizst to name a few; one of my personal favorites, her interpretation of Schubert's Ave Maria. Her renditions of Vartapet Komitas' (the father of Armenian enthnomusicology) Groung, Garun A, and others are precious gifts to the collection of Armenian folk music. It is over ten years now since her passing, but her transcendent voice will live forever in the hearts of her listeners.