In Memoriam: Krikor Pidedjian (1935-2019)

The Eastern Diocese mourns the passing of Mr. Krikor Pidedjan, a revered teacher, community figure, and authority on Armenia sacred music, who passed away on July 30 at age 83.

In a letter of condolence read at the funeral on August 2, Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan offered a touching personal reminiscence of Mr. Pidedjian and his life’s work. Diocesan Vicar Fr. Simeon Odabashian represented the Primate and read the letter aloud during the service at the St. Gregory the Enlightener Church in White Plains, NY.

Bishop Daniel’s letter appears below.

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To the Family and loved ones of Krikor Pidedjian

It grieved me deeply to hear of the passing of Krikor Pidedjian: a gentle soul, devoted husband, loving father, and dutiful son of the Armenian Church. On behalf of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, allow me to express my sincere condolences to the Pidedjian family, and to the entire St. Gregory the Enlightener community.

Mr. Pidedjian was graced with all the finest human qualities. I will always remember him as I first met him, more than forty years ago, when Fr. Karekin Kasparian invited him to give a lecture on Armenian Church music to us American-Armenian teenagers at my first Deacons’ Training Program at St. Nersess Seminary. It was my earliest exposure to the theory of our sacred music, presented by one who was deeply learned as a musicologist. Mr. Pidedjian’s presentation left a lasting impression on me—inspiring me, in part, to continue with my own musicological and liturgical studies.

Over the years, my admiration for Mr. Pidedjian’s expertise, musical erudition, and plain, instinctive dedication to our holy church has only grown. I recall his regular visits to Armenia to lecture at the conservatory; his learned books about Armenian music and musicians; his lectures at the Zohrab Center and elsewhere. During the early days of the new republic’s rebirth, he would collect money and distribute it to young musicians in Armenia, to encourage them and allow them to pursue their art during a time of dire economic conditions.

About a year ago, Mr. Pidedjian warmly invited me to his home in Yonkers when I called on him for assistance in reconstructing and notating an old, forgotten melody from the Armenian Morning Service. The late Yeghishe Srpazan had sung it once for me years ago, and I yearned to notate it and teach it to our young deacons. Not surprisingly, Mr. Pidedjian recalled the melody instantly. We spent a remarkable afternoon together at his kitchen table, notating music, singing and talking about the sacred gold that is our inheritance as children of the Armenian Church. For this I will always remember him. His gracious wife Berjouhie added to the joy and warmth of that afternoon.

I pray for Mr. Pidedjian’s good soul; for Berjouhi and their children, Datev and Jean, Antovk and Ani; for Krikor’s grandchildren Alexandra, Adam, Stephen, Kyle, and Daron; his brother Boghos and sister Haigouhie, and his large circle of devoted friends and loved ones. I also pray that Krikor’s life’s work—truly his life’s love—may always inspire others to discover our people’s passionate faith in Jesus Christ, expressed in the mystical beauty of Armenian sacred music. May our Lord bless you all, and shine his eternal light on his departed servant, now and unto the ages.

With my prayers,

Bishop Daniel

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One Comment

  1. prof.dr.Thomas Blokland / August 3, 2019

    my condoleances for the beloved family

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