The Songlins Magazine (England), on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of this magazine, has named the 20 most important artists of the world. Kayhan Kalhor, the Iranian musician (Kamancheh player) is in this list.
Kalhor, a prominent musician, has already been awarded the Grammy Award.
Biography of Keyhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor (born 24 November 1963 in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian Kamancheh player, composer and master of classical Kurdish and Iranian traditional music.
Kayhan Kalhor has a wide range of musical influences, uses several musical instruments, and crosses cultural borders with his work, but at his center he is an intense player of the Kamancheh. In his playing Kalhor often pins Iranian classical music structures to the rich folk modes and melodies of the Kurdish tradition of Iran.
Kalhor has composed works for and played alongside the famous Iranian vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri. He has also composed and performed with the Indian sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan and Indian tabla player Swapan Chaudhuri in the group Ghazal. Kalhor’s 2004 album In the mirror of the Sky was a joint venture with the Kurdish Iranian lute player Ali Akbar Moradi. His 2006 album The Wind is a collaboration with the Turkish baglama virtuoso Erdal Erzincan, with both Turkish and Persian pieces performed. At other times Kalhor has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project Ensemble in the USA and the Kronos Quartet.
Kalhor now resides in USA and has been commercially successful in USA over the past decade. Two of his works were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2004.
In 2010 Kalhor composed “I was there”, which was based “on a melody attributed to Ziryab, a ninth-century Persian Kurdish musician”, for a Maya Beiser concert. This piece was performed by Kalhor alongside Maya Beiser, the renowned cellist Bassam Saba, an oud player, and two percussionists, Glen Velez and Matt Kilmer.
What is Kamancheh?
The word “kamancheh” means “little bow” in Persian. The kamancheh is an Iranian bowed string instrument, used also in Lurish, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Turkish and Kurdish music and related to the rebab, the historical ancestor of the kamancheh and also to the bowed Byzantine lyra, ancestor of the European violin family. The strings are played with a variable-tension bow. It is widely used in the classical music of Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kurdistan Regions with slight variations in the structure of the instrument.
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