Kayhan Kalhor


Composer and soloist Kayhan Kalhor is one of the world’s most renowned masters of the Iranian stinged instrument, the Kamancheh. A composer of Kurdish and Persian classical music and globally renowned for his original works, his interpretations of traditional music, and his collaborations with other classical and modern musicians.

Kalhor was born into a Kurdish family of musicians in Tehran. He began his musical education at the age of seven and began playing in Iran’s National Orchestra at the age of 13. His career has spanned decades where he has studied traditional music of Iran and Tukey. Kalhor moved to Europe and then to Canada, where he studied composition in the European classical tradition. He received a degree from Carleton University and later immigrated to the United States.

Kalhor is a well-known member of the Persian/Kurdish folk and classical ensemble Ghazal and a founding member of the Yo-Yo Mas Silk Road Ensemble. He has played as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchester National de Lyon, as well as with the Indian sitar virtuoso Shujaat Husain Khan and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider. As a composer, Kalhor has written for the outstanding Iranian singers Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri, as well as for the Silk Road Project. Several of his recordings have been nominated for a Grammy.