Hyperion Records

Artist Hyperion Records
Esfahani, Mahan (harpsichord)
© Marco Borggreve

Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

Acclaimed by De Standaard as ‘the harpsichord genius’ and by Opera Today as ‘the leading harpsichordist of his generation’, Mahan Esfahani was born in 1984 in Tehran. He first studied the piano with his father and as a teenager went on to explore an interest in the organ and harpsichord. He was the first harpsichordist to be named on the BBC’s New Generation Artist scheme and to be awarded a fellowship prize by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. He has made numerous concerto appearances, under the baton of such conductors as Martyn Brabbins, Thierry Fischer and Jirví Bevlohlávek, and with increasingly numerous modern orchestras in Britain and on the Continent. During his time as a BBC New Generation Artist he gave his solo debut at Wigmore Hall in London (broadcast on BBC Radio 3), about which The Daily Telegraph exclaimed, ‘the harpsichord comes out of hiding … magnificent’. In addition, his recording of Poulenc’s Harpsichord Concerto was issued with the BBC Music Magazine in May 2010, and he has been featured as a ‘Hot Property’ by Classic FM Magazine.

With a repertoire that spans four centuries, Esfahani works to take the harpsichord beyond the realm of ‘early music’ and to major festivals and series in the mainstream of classical music across Europe, Canada and the United States. Concert highlights include solo recitals at halls in Tokyo, Nagoya, Cologne, Zurich, Bruges, Copenhagen, Nicosia, Vancouver, Bristol, Leeds, Istanbul, Prague, and New York, where his Frick Collection debut was met with critical acclaim. In 2011 he sold out London’s Cadogan Hall with the first solo harpsichord recital in the 116-year history of the BBC Proms, and 2012 saw a triumphant return to the Proms with his own arrangement of Bach’s Art of Fugue for the Academy of Ancient Music.

Esfahani studied as a President’s Scholar at Stanford University, where his principal mentor was the musicologist George Houle; he went on to pursue his performance studies under the supervision of the Australian harpsichordist Peter Watchorn (Boston) and the Italian organist Lorenzo Ghielmi (Milan), and currently benefits from the advice and guidance of the celebrated Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Ruzicková.

In 2008 Mahan Esfahani was appointed Artist-in-Residence at New College, Oxford, and made his home in the United Kingdom. In his free time he enjoys exploring Persian cuisine, the study of etymology, and a deep interest in Czech culture and history.

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