From dawn to dusk, music reigns among the stars of Persian civilization. The traditional music of Iran, unique to the Orient, is the fruit of a mystical heritage with a fascinating capacity for constant regeneration. For this unique concert, Kayhan Kalhor, an uncontested master of this tradition, joins Kiya Tabassian on a journey through an immense musical universe. Carrying on tradition while uncovering the future, they make poetry that sings of times both old and new, and contribute to a culture that is in full swing.
The intensely spiritual and emotional improvisations of Kalhor and Tabassian, steeped in the traditional music of Iran, are said to bring listeners to a trance-like state. The ancestry of the setar can be traced to the ancient tanbur of pre-Islamic Persia. It is made from thin mulberry wood and its fingerboard has more than 20 moveable frets. Setar is literally translated as “three strings”; in its present form, however, it has four strings. Because of its delicacy and intimate sonority, the setar is the preferred instrument of Sufi mystics.
” Rather than a duel, the two setarists’ ninety or so uninterrupted minutes onstage turned out to be a clinic in how to build something transcendent.” New York Music Daily
This concert is generously supported by Agnes Hohn.
Click here to purchase tickets to the in-person performance at the Kay Meek Performing Arts Centre.
Tickets for the performance at the Roundhouse will become available soon.
This concert is a duelling improvisation, no programme will be provided.
ONLINE VERSION – PURCHASE TICKETS AND HOW TO WATCH:
Online: Streaming by Fee for 48 hours on June 3 at 7:30 PM.
Click here to purchase tickets for the online concert.
Kiya Tabassian, setar
Born in 1976 in Tehran, Iran. At age 14, Kiya Tabassian emigrated with his family to Quebec from Iran, bringing with him some initial musical training in Persian music and a fledgling musical career. Determined to become a musician and composer, he continued his self-education in Persian music, meeting frequently 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 his ensemble, which continues to be met with unparalleled acclaim by audiences around the world.
He has performed on stages throughout the world and collaborated on many eclectic projects as a composer, performer and improviser. These have included regular collaborations with Radio-Canada since 1996; participation in the international MediMuses project as a member of the group researching the history and repertoire of Mediterranean music and as a contributor on several publishing and recording initiatives from 2002 to 2005; musical collaborations with the Atlas Ensemble (Holland) and, as a tutor, with the Atlas Academy, on a dual project aimed at linking contemporary music with oral traditions, since 2009.
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 is Associate Artist at the prestigious Rencontres musicales de Conques festival (formerly the Conques, la Lumière du Roman music festival), where he presented many recent creations with Constantinople.
Kiya was a member of the Conseil des arts de Montréal for seven years, serving as chair of the music decision-making committee for three years, and he is now a Board member of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. He also received a mandate from the Conseil québécois de la musique to set up a committee that will examine the role of music from around the world within the context of performance music. His desire to be involved and engaged with the musical community and Quebec society led him, in 2017, to co-found the Centre des musiciens du monde in Montreal, for which he will serve as artistic director.
His artistic projects and creations have received the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Conseil des arts de Montréal for years.
Kayhan Kalhor, setar
Five-time GRAMMY nominee and a Grammy winner (2017), Kayhan Kalhor is an
internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh, who through his many musical
collaborations has been instrumental in popularizing Persian music in the West and is a
creative force in today’s music scene. His performances of traditional Persian music and
multiple collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe. He has studied the
music of Iran’s many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan, and has
toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New
York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He is co-founder of the
renowned ensembles Dastan, Ghazal: Persian & Indian Improvisations and Masters of
Kayhan Kalhor has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists Mohammad
Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has also performed and recorded with Iran’s
greatest instrumentalists. He has composed music for television and film and was most
recently featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth Without Youth in a
score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov. In 2004, Kayhan was invited by
American composer John Adams to give a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his
Perspectives Series and in the same year he appeared on a double bill at Lincoln Center’s
Mostly Mozart Festival, sharing the program with the Festival Orchestra performing the
Mozart Requiem. Kayhan is a founding member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and
his compositions appear on several of the Ensemble’s albums.