ARA DINKJIAN is an Armenian born in America in 1958. His earliest professional musical experience was accompanying his father Onnik Dinkjian, a renowned Armenian folk and liturgical singer. Ara learned several western and eastern instruments (piano, guitar, darbuka, clarinet) and in 1980 graduated from the Hartt College of Music, earning the country’s first and only special degree in the instrument for which he has become most well-known, the oud . For over 40 years, he served as organist in the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Throughout his musical life, Ara has continued to develop his highly personal compositional style which blends his eastern and western roots. In 1985, to help realize these compositions and musical concepts, Ara formed his instrumental quartet, NIGHT ARK, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and Universal/PolyGram. NIGHT ARK’s recordings and concert tours were highly influential for musicians and music lovers throughout the world because they demonstrated how music can be progressive and creative while still retaining the dignity and soul of one’s culture.Ara Dinkjian’s compositions have had a universal appeal. His songs have been recorded by world famous instrumentalists and singers in 14 different languages, demonstrating that music does indeed unite people and cultures. His hit song Dinata Dinata was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Many of his compositions have appeared in movie and television soundtracks. Some of his compositions in Turkey alone include Agladıkca (Ahmet Kaya), Vazgectim, Sarisinim, Yine Mi Cicek, and Son Sardunyalar (Sezen Aksu). Ara Dinkjian is considered one of the finest oud players in the world. His style is a very personal one, with an emphasis on a uniquely beautiful tone. He has appeared throughout the world on concert stages,oud festivals, seminars, and master classes, performing in 22 different countries. Ara Dinkjian continues to compose, perform, record, and teach, while creating his own unique musical landscape.