The Iranian-born early keyboards specialist and BBC New Generation Artist Mahan Esfahani has gained international attention for his technical prowess and musical sensitivity as an active concert harpsichordist, concerto soloist, and collaborative artist. Following a sold-out debut at London's Wigmore Hall in 2009, he has established himself as a rising figure in the European scene, appearing on the concert circuit with such ensembles as The English Concert, Mala Punica, Il Complesso Barocco (dir. Alan Curtis), the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and most usually as a recital and concerto soloist. Praised for his 'sensitivity and vibrance' (Early Music Today) and for possessing 'the virtuosity of a master' (Keyboard Magazine), he has delighted audiences in such series and festivals as the legendary BBC Proms, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, the City of London Festival, Birmingham's Town Hall, Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, the Goettingen Handel Festival, the Halle Handel Festival, the Settimana Mozart of Milan, the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the Festwoche Herrenhausen of Hannover, the Collection of Musical Instruments at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini of Venice, the Montisi Festival, Milan's Basilica di San Marco, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the San Francisco Early Music Society, Los Angeles' Da Camera Society, Gotham Early Music at New York's Times Center, and many other concert seasons both in the U.S. and Europe. In 2010 he was invited to perform at the Library of Congress on the Pleyel & Cie. harpsichord (1912) formerly belonging to the great concert harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959).
Mahan Esfahani studied Musicology and Theory as a President's Scholar at Stanford University, where he wrote a bachelor's thesis on aesthetics in early nineteenth-century Italian opera seria; principal studies have been under the supervision of the American musicologist George Houle (Stanford), the Australian harpsichordist Peter Watchorn, and the Italian organist Lorenzo Ghielmi (Milan) (Boston). 2009 saw the release of the first volume of a multi-volume traversal of the complete works for harpsichord and organ of the Elizabethan composer John Bull (c. 1562-1628) on the Musica Omnia label, while 2010 sees the release of a recording with Ensemble Plus Ultra for Deutsche Gramophon/Archiv; he has also recorded for Naxos. In the 2009-10 season, he broadcasted and recorded the harpsichord concerti of Francis Poulenc (1928) and Bohuslav Martinu (1935) for the BBC. In the autumn of 2008, he was appointed to a three-year term as Artist-in-Residence and Junior Research Fellow at New College, Oxford, and in February of 2009 was honoured by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.
This biography was most recently edited by...
Courtney Westcott - 22 Sep 2009