Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle) and on the setar (long-necked lute), who through his many musical collaborations has been popularizing Persian music around the world. He is widely considered as one of the most important ambassadors for Iranian music and culture. A child prodigy on the kamancheh, he is not only a consummate master of the Iranian classical repertoire (radif), but also of the Western. Kalhor is one of the biggest stars and most creative forces in Iran's music scene and has accumulated a faithful fan base, which not only shows in his social media channels (Facebook 340k, Instagram 470k fans).
Born in Tehran, Iran, he began his musical studies at the age of seven. At thirteen, he was invited to work with the National Orchestra of Radio and Television of Iran, where he performed for five years. When he was seventeen he began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization in Iran at the time. He has traveled extensively throughout Iran, studying the music of its many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan.
Kayhan Kalhor 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 and Masters of Persian Music. 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 featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth Without Youth in a score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov
Kayhan is an original member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project for whom he continues to compose for and tour with. His compositions appear on all of the Ensemble’s albums. His most recent albums include Silent City, collaboration with Brooklyn Rider, and I Will Not Stand Alone with santoor player Ali Bahrami Fard. Kayhan has been nominated for three Grammys and in 2017 was awarded a Grammy with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (2017).
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