Sako Dermenjian is a Syrian-born classical guitarist studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but that description is certainly doing his multifaceted talent an injustice.

He recently won the newly established Greta Davis Equity Scholarship, designed for students studying performance who can demonstrate disadvantage; Dermenjian says that receiving the scholarship has meant that “[it’s] so much easier to focus on my playing. It’s great that there are people out there who value music and want to help others tell their stories through music. I’m very grateful for this financial support”.

Sako Dermenjian

Commenting on the establishment of her scholarship, Greta Davis has said that “it is not easy to meet the Con’s high admission standards and refugees and First Nations people have so many more challenges to overcome. It takes a lot of work to be really good at music and I wanted to recognise and assist people that have achieved that in difficult circumstances”.

Dermenjian’s journey with the guitar began early. Attending classical concerts in Syria, his interest was piqued and at the age of six his...