Friday , 20 May 2022

Recipient of 12th Bita Prize for Persian Arts: Kayhan Kalhor

PayvandNews – We are pleased to announce the 12th recipient of the Bita Prize for Persian Arts is the acclaimed musician Kayhan Kalhor!

Kayhan Kalhor
Photo credit: Hamid Shirmohammedi

Kayhan Kalhor, born in Tehran, began his musical studies at the age of seven under Master Ahmad Mohajer. A child prodigy on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle), he was invited at the age of 13 to work in the Iranian National Radio and Television Orchestra, where he performed for five years.  At 17, Kayhan began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization at the time in Iran. In 1978, Kayhan went to Rome to study Western classical music and continued his studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he received a degree in music. 
Kayhan 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.  In his efforts at popularizing and advancing Persian traditional music, Kayhan has already left an indelible mark in the musical and cultural spheres worldwide.  He also has the unique ability to not only uphold the tradition of Persian classical music but at the same time to engage in dialog with artists and audiences.
He has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists, including Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has performed and recorded with many of Iran’s greatest artists. Kayhan is an original member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he continues to compose for and tour with. His compositions appear on all of the Ensemble’s albums. In 1991, he co-founded Dastan, the renowned Persian classical music ensemble; in 1997 he formed Ghazal ensemble with Shujaat Husain Khan; and in 1999 he co-founded Masters of Persian Music with Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Hossein Alizadeh, and Homayoun Shajarian, and toured across the U.S. three times. He has ongoing collaborations with Turkish Alevi baglama master Erdal Erzincan, West African kora player Toumani Diabate, the Dutch Jazz group Rembrandt Trio and many orchestras and ensembles around the world.
He has performed at many of the world’s most renowned theaters; has composed extensively for television and film and has released over twenty albums.  In addition to receiving a Grammy for his last album with the Silk Road Ensemble, Sing Me Home, in 2017, four of his other albums have been nominated for Grammys.  His most recent album is It’s Still Autumn (released in 2019).
Kayhan received the Isaac Stern Human Spirit Award in 2018 and will receive the Womex Artist Award in 2019 for his mastery and virtuosity of the kamancheh, for the ceaseless innovation and collaboration to create exciting new musical languages and for bringing the Persian classical music tradition to people all over the world.

More information coming soon but we hope you can save the date and join us to celebrate Mr. Kalhor. 

Learn about the annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts here.

… Payvand News – 10/08/19 … —