When guitarist Sako Dermenjianspoke to Limelightin 2017, he was in his first year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Vladimir Gorbach, having come to Australia as a refugee from Syria. Judging by the CV he’s racked up in just a couple of years, he hasn’t been wasting any time. “It’s been a busy period, to say the least,” he tells Limelight.

Anna Da Silva Chen and Sako Dermenjian Anna Da Silva Chen and Sako Dermenjian. Photo supplied

Dermenjian has been hitting the competitions, taking out First Place in the Open Guitar section at the Sydney Eisteddfod last year, making the finals in the NSW Doctor’s Association Instrumental Scholarship this year, and in October he competes as a state finalist in the 2019 Fine Music Young Virtuoso of the Year Award.

Away from the classical side of things, I’ve been forming new duos with popular artists like Masha Mnjoyan (winner of The Voice of Armeniain 2013) and exploring my Middle-Eastern musical roots with Atif Badria (an Arabic percussionist) and many more in different settings,” he says. “I’ve also been playing in my band The Groove at...