Zaven Vardanyan was born in 1945 in Aleppo, Syria, and immigrated with his parents to Armenia in 1947. Vardanyan is a graduate of the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, where he studied string performance and conducting. After graduating in 1974, Vardanyan was engaged as the assistant conductor of the Armenian State Symphonic Orchestra, a position he held for five years.
In 1979, Maestro Vardanyan founded the Yerevan State Chamber Orchestra, where he was principal conductor until 1990. From 1994-2000, Vardanyan served as the conductor of the Yerevan State Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
In 2003, Vardanyan moved to Quenca, Ecuador, where he has taught in the music department at the Quenca State University and led the local symphony. In 2006, he founded the Society of Opera Friends in Quenca, and opened the Quenca Opera Theatre.
Despite his residence in Central America, Maestro Vardanyan maintains contacts with the music culture in Yerevan. Since 2000, Vardanyan has served as a director of the Armenian Sacred Music Research and Performance Center of the Armenian Ministry of Culture. Vardanyan likewise leads numerous concerts and festivals in Yerevan.
Vardanyan has founded and/or led several music festivals in Armenia, including those dedicated to the music of J.S. Bach and Armenian sacred music, as well as the Shakespeare's Days in Armenia Festival (2000).
Vardanyan has led concerts of various styles and mediums, including numerous operatic productions; he likewise has concentrated much on the music of contemporary Armenian composers - such as is found here at the Classical Archives. Among his awards received include a Gold Medal at the Armenian Republic Competition (1969).