Sako Dermenjian

Sako Dermenjian is an Armenian classical guitarist, born and raised in Syria, now based in Australia.

He was given his first guitar at the age of 7 as a gift from his grandmother and it hasn’t left him since. And when he left Syria at the age of 17, the guitar became one of the few constants over the next few years of Sako’s life.

After studying with the great Mazen Al-Saleh for 9 years in Damascus, Sako was already on the path of achieving his dream to become a world-renowned classical guitarist and teacher. Then war broke out and changed his plans.

A NEW LIFE IN AUSTRALIA
On arrival in Australia a few years later Sako was forced to re-think the direction of his music. The intensity of war had left him with a sense of urgency to make the most of his life. He was eager to start a-new at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but again plans were delayed when he learned he needed an extra qualification in order to gain admission. He would have to call on all those years of patience and dedication that made him the guitarist he is today.

NEW SCHOOL, NEW FRIENDS, NEW DIRECTIONS
Studying a Diploma of Music at TAFE Illawarra with teacher Michael Barkl turned out to be a year full of exploration and growth for Sako. It allowed him to discover different parts of himself musically and take his playing in new directions. His music gave him a way to participate more in the community and it wasn’t long before people started to notice him.

One gig led to another and in 2016 he was invited to perform for the Lord Mayor at the Wollongong Australia Day awards dinner. Later that year he was invited to play in front of a global audience at TEDx Wollongong and talk about his journey under the theme It’s about time.

In 2017 Sako was finally accepted into a Bachelor of Performance in classical guitar at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After being completely self-taught for the last five years, he is about to start his first year with his new teacher Vladimir Gorbach.

He is ready for the next journey with his guitar.

Atif and Sako are a Syrian duo fusing Middle Eastern beats with contemporary melodies. They performed in The Illawarra Spanish and Latin American Festival 2016, NSW Harmony day 2016 and many more…