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The siblings Kiya and Ziya Tabassian of Persian origin are researching and interpreting the musical traditions of the East. Illuminating East and West, the band was established in 1998 in Montreal as a forum for the crossroad of traditions. During the last decade, the group has performed 35 new concerts in about 120 cities in 22 countries. The virtuoso musicians of sitar and tombak collaborate with great instrument players from all over the world, like the virtuoso oud musician and composer Kyriako Kalaitzides from Salonica, Greece.
Kiya Tabassian: sitar, voice
Ziya Tabassian: tombak, percussions
Kyriakos Kalaitzides: oud
(21/7 @ Geroskipou Pafos within the framework of the collaboration with Pafos2017)
Constantinople is nominally a French-Canadian early-music trio, based in Montreal. But it is not quite that simple. It was founded in 1998 by Kiya Tabassian, an Iranian-born performer on the setar: a Persian lute with a long, rounded neck. The ensemble, which Mr. Tabassian directs, includes his brother, Ziya Tabassian, a percussionist who is particularly adept on the Persian tombak, a goblet-shaped drum, and Pierre-Yves Martel, a viola da gamba player who splits his time between Montreal and Paris. But the group seems rarely to work in this stripped-down form: its Web site lists a long roster of regular collaborators who play Middle Eastern stringed instruments and sing, as well as a flamenco guitarist, a clarinetist and a D.J.
Born in Tehran in 1976, Kiya Tabassian received his initial training in Persian music from Mehrdad Torabi at the Bahârlou Institute in Tehran, from Reza Ghassemi in Paris and Kayhan Kalhor in Montreal. He has since continued to develop his instrumental skills independently. He has also studied composition at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay and Michel Gonneville.
In 1989, he founded the Tahmassebi Ensemble. In addition to directing the group, he contributed several compositions to its repertoire. The ensemble gave several concerts throughout Iran and performed on the Iranian national broadcasting network. In 1990, upon his arrival in Canada, he co-founded the Darvish-Khan Trio, an ensemble devoted to classical Persian music. He is also the co-founder of Constantinople, an ensemble that specializes in medieval and Renaissance music, and Nowrouz, which is devoted to classical Persian music.
Both ensembles have performed in a number of Canadian cities. Kiya has collaborated with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on several occasions as a performer and special co-host. In addition, he performs regularly throughout the U.S., France, Greece and Mexico, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians.
In 2000, he was composer in residence for Musique Multi Montréal with a project entitled "Poussières d'étoiles." Along with his brother Ziya, he recorded his first CD of Persian classical music entitled Garden of the Memory on the XXI-21 label. He has also recorded two CDs with Constantinople on the ATMA label and is currently working on two new recordings scheduled for release by ATMA in 20022003.
Since March 2002, he has been an active member of the MediMuses project, as a member of the research group on the history of Mediterranean music. He will also oversee the production of the second recording in the "Great Composers of the Mediterranean" series, to be released on the En Chordais label in 2004.
Kiya is a member of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Kiya has frequently been invited to give lectures and presentations on Persian music.
Performance commence at 20.30
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