Christ Church Cathedral
NOTE: Tickets go on sale Monday, April 3 at noon.
Artists: Marco Beasley, tenor and Constantinople directed by Kiya Tabassian
Marco Beasley, a leading figure in Renaissance music, joins Constantinople under the direction of Kiya Tabassian, to immerse us in the audacious, imaginative world of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings. In 1502 da Vinci drafted the plans for a bridge in Constantinople (now Istanbul) that was to span the Bosporus, but it was never built. A continuation of their journey tracing the footsteps of great visionaries, this concert celebrates the originality of an artist and scientist who left a profound mark on the history of humankind and builds the bridge he envisioned between East and West.
Marco Beasley, tenor
Marco Beasley studied music at the University of Bologna where he deepened his knowledge of the two stylistic pivots of the late Renaissance – recitar cantando and sacred and secular polyphony. Following graduation he began an active concert career which has taken him to some of the most prestigious concert venues including the Mozarteum (Salzburg), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome) and the Lincoln Center (New York). In 1984, he co-founded Accordone together with Guido Morini and Stefano Rocco. Most recordings in his wide-ranging discography are with this ensemble. Since 2014 Marco has performed as a solo artist. His personal research into vocal production and the intelligibility of sung texts have earned him the praise of an ever-increasing public. In 2009, the Dutch Association of Theater and Concert Halls nominated him for Best Performer of the Year.
Founded in 1998 by its artistic director Kiya Tabassian, Constantinople is a musical ensemble inspired by the ancient city straddling the East and West. Since its founding, the ensemble promotes the creation of new works incorporating musical elements of diverse musical traditions around the world; drawing from medieval manuscripts to a contemporary aesthetic, passing from Mediterranean Europe to Eastern traditions and New World Baroque. Underpinned by a spirit of research and creation, Constantinople has joined forces with leading international artists such as: Marco Beasley, Suzie LeBlanc, the Mandinka griot Ablaye Cissoko, the Greek ensemble En Chordais, the Belgian duo Belem, The Klezmatics, sarangi virtuoso Dhruba Ghosh, and Iranian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor. They are regularly invited to perform in international festivals and prestigious concert halls including: the Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Berliner Philharmonie, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music (Morocco), the Rencontres musicales de Conques (France), the Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), the Cervantino Festival (Mexico) and the Festival de Carthage (Tunisia). Constantinople has 19 albums to its credit. Over the past fifteen years, Constantinople has created nearly 50 works and travelled to more than 240 cities in 54 countries.
Kiya Tabassian, music director
In 1990, at age 14, Kiya Tabassian emigrated with his family to Quebec from his native Iran, bringing with him some initial musical training in Persian music. Determined to become a musician and composer, he continued his education in Persian music, studying with Reza Gassemi and Kayhan Kalhor. At the same time, he studied composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay. In 1998, he co-founded Constantinople with the idea of developing an ensemble for musical creation that draws from the heritage of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, of Europe, and of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Serving as its artistic director, Kiya has developed close to 40 programs with Constantinople. Numerous musical groups and institutions have called upon his talents as a composer, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and the European Broadcasting Union. He has also composed music for documentary and feature films, including Jabaroot and Voices of the Unheard. Since the summer of 2017, he has held the post of Associate Artist at Rencontres musicales de Conques festival in France. In 2017 he co-founded the Centre des musiciens du monde in Montreal. Kiya also sits on the Board of Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.