We are pleased to announce the 12th recipient of the annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts is the acclaimed musician Kayhan Kalhor!
Kayhan Kalhor began his musical studies at the age of seven and was considered a child prodigy on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle). As a young musician in Iran, he worked in the Iranian National Radio and Television Orchestra and with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center. 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.
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).
Additional program information forthcoming.
*photo credit: Azadeh Besharaty