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Michael, Armen, and Stephanie Hovnanian at John Ball Zoo


Michael Hovnanian - Double Bass


Hello! My name is Michael Hovnanian and I play the double bass with the Grand Rapids Symphony. I am so thankful to be a part of an organization like the GRS, doing what I love with musicians that inspire me every day, and I feel honored to call them friends and colleagues.


To be honest, I am a little uncomfortable writing about myself, so I thought I would try something different. Rather than write my own profile, I thought I would instead have my 5 year old son Armen give the inside scoop on his dear old dad.


MH: Armen, what does your dad do for a living?

AH: Playing on your bass, in a symphony!

That is right I am a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony.


Where was I born?

In the 1970’s in Grand Rapids…No, Iowa!

Well, yes and no.

I was indeed born in the 1970's, but not in Iowa. I was born in Southfield, MI, outside of Detroit. I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life.

I thought you lived in the same place as mommy when she was a little girl

Nope, we met after college, when we were both members of the Kalamazoo Symphony.


Do you know where I went to college?

I think it is called State of Iowa, because it is in Iowa!

Ah, no again. I went to Michigan State for my Master’s and DMA, and I went to Central Michigan for my undergrad.


What do I like to do for fun?

Strength fight (Armen’s name for wrestling).

You like a lot of sugar in your coffee!

Well you are not wrong.

Play catch with me and play games with me, finding cool rocks with me.

Of course the Lego Death Star! (Armen, Stephanie, and I have been building this together)


I also like to cook, Armen. What is your favorite food I make?


I don’t cook that, but ok.

I like your hamburgers, and I love your tacos! I like the pizza you like.

That would be Buddy’s Pizza. I worked at one of the metro Detroit locations when I was a teenager. It is still my favorite pizza, so when they opened a Grand Rapids location last year I was very happy!


What are daddy’s favorite movies?

Of course Star Wars movies!

VERY true!

What about TV?

Paw Patrol and Pokémon, Slick Slime Sam and Ryan

(Off the record, I don’t know if I would call these my “favorite” shows, but they are ones Armen and I watch together. I would say some of my favorite shows are Venture Bros., The Mandalorian, Brooklyn 99, GGG, Gravity Falls)


What are some other things daddy likes?

Daddy likes my shirts and likes to play Dragemonz, and tag, and computer games and Mario Kart.

I do like to do those things with you, Armen!


What is your favorite thing about daddy?

That you like most of the same things that I like. I like Star Wars but it isn’t my favorite thing. Playing outside, playing with new toys


Least favorite?

I don’t have a least favorite thing about you

Well, that is awesome!


What kind of music does daddy like?

Ancient music!

I wouldn’t call it Ancient, but I get your drift.

Pretty nice music


How long have mommy and daddy been married?

17 years, and for part of a few weeks

Close-ish, we have been married for 12 years, but together for 18 years.


Who are some of daddy’s favorite people?

Of course me and mommy and everybody else in this family

True, I grew up with a very large and loving family. We really miss seeing them since the pandemic started. I can’t wait for it to be safe to visit them!


Who else, Armen?

Grandma Sue that died and Grandpa Armen...I wish I could see them in real life.

Me too, buddy.


Any other of my friends you remember?

Maybe Asheson, Ashes…

Do you mean Erich?


Good memory!


What do you think people should know about me?

You are strong, your beard tickles me, and you love me.


Very true on that last one, Armen! Thank you for letting me ask you all these questions!


And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed learning more about me, and special thanks to my son Armen for indulging me!

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