Country singer, Johnny Tillotson, and producer, Michael Lloyd,
with West L.A. Music's Don Griffin and Armand Zildjian
Armand Zildjian of Scottsdale, Arizona and Quechee, Vermont (formerly Hingham, MA.), President and Chairman of the Zildjian Company in Norwell, MA, died Thursday, December 26th at his home in Scottsdale. He was 81.
Born in Quincy, he attended local schools including Thayer Academy and Colgate University until called to serve in the Philippines in 1942. Upon his return, he entered the family business, the world's largest cymbal manufacturer and the oldest company in America. An amateur musician himself, Zildjian said he felt privileged to have been born into a musical dynasty, which dates back to 1623. Appointed President two years before his father's death, Armand took over the role of family patriarch in 1977.
Zildjian was known for his charismatic personality and warm personal relationship with drummers. He hand selected cymbals for such drummers as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Jo Jones and many others and matched cymbals for the Boston Symphony and leading orchestras around the world. The foremost authority in cymbal sound, he created new product innovations in response to the ever-changing needs of musicians and remained deeply involved in the operation of the company until his death.
Zildjian received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, and most recently received Modern Drummer Magazine Editors Achievement Award.
In addition to his wife, Andra, he leaves four children Wendy Mets, Craigie, Debbie & Robert Zildjian, three stepchildren Kristy Thompson, Mark & Peter Field, eight grandchildren Paula Charles, Cady & Emily Zildjian-Bickford, Samantha Zildjian, Dakota and Victoria Thompson, Kathryn and Spencer Field, two great grandchildren, Ian and Gwen Charles, several cousins, nieces and nephews and a brother Robert.
Private family service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Armand Zildjian Percussion Scholarship, c/o Berklee College of Music, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215 and the Zildjian Family Opportunity Fund, c/o Percussive Arts Society, 701 NW Ferris Ave., Lawton, OK 73507.