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A virtuoso of the Persian spiked fiddle called the kamancheh, Kayhan Kalhor is a three-time Grammy nominee widely considered to be the greatest living ambassador of Persian music. Born into an Iranian Kurdish family, he has performed internationally as a founding member of cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall.
At Songlines Encounters 2020, Kalhor performs on the setar, which he has rarely played on concert stages, a four-stringed lute with 25 movable frets, often associated with Sufism. He is joined by fellow Iranian, musician and composer Kiya Tabassian, Kalhor’s student of many years, for an evening of exquisite improvisations.
‘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