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Obituaries in the News

March 31, 2003

BOSTON (AP) _ Pianist and composer David Azarian, who fell in love with jazz listening to radio broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain and later followed the music to the United States, was killed Saturday while changing a tire by the roadside, state police said. He was 51.

Azarian’s career in music spanned decades, taking him from the Composers’ Union of the communist-era Soviet Union, where he was one of the few jazzmen, to the stage of such legendary jazz venues as the Blue Note and Carnegie Hall in New York. Azarian also taught at Boston’s renowned Berklee School of Music.

He moved to the United States in 1989.

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, to a musical family, Azarian began studying music at age 7. But his love for jazz would be formed listening to radio broadcasts on Voice of America.

Azarian was struck by a sport utility vehicle as he was trying to change a tire on his minivan in the breakdown lane of Interstate 93 in Stoneham.

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