Iranian born Mahan Esfahani is currently on the roster of BBC New Generation Artists, and a recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Baroque and Renaissance music are Mahan Esfahanis passion, especially Bach. Filmed in recital at Holywell Music Rooms and at the organ at St John’s College Oxford, this BBT movie reveals his enthusiasm for the harpsichord and organ and his unwavering intent to be a soloist as well as collaborator. Produced by Borletti-Buitoni Trust www.bbtrust.com
Borletti-Buitoni Trust’s cameraman Graham Johnston asked Mahan Esfahani for a basic introduction to the organ loft, as he prepared to record a recital programme as part of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme. Here’s what he got as an answer…
Mahan Esfahani – Bach English Suite 5 (Prelude):
Mahan Esfahani is currently on the roster of BBC New Generation Artists, and a recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Highlights of this season include performances and recordings of three modern concerti – Poulenc (1928), Martinu (1935), and Kalabis (1975) – with several BBC orchestras, as well as appearances at the City of London and York Early Music Festivals this summer. He has also been asked to perform the inaugural recital at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on the 1912 Pleyel & Cie. harpsichord belonging to Wanda Landowska in May 2010. Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, Mahan Esfahani has appeared as soloist with The English Concert and he will perform with the Manchester Camerata this autumn. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at New College, Oxford.
“…a stunning concert by Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani of Domenico Scarlatti sonatas, carefully chosen and paired, and played with both a sensitivity and vibrance that will send me running to the box office when I next see his name in a concert programme. ” (Early Music Today, October/November 2007)
“…nothing could have prepared me for the brilliance and artistry of Mahan Esfahani, who, despite his young age, played with the musicality and virtuosity of a master. Specializing in early keyboards, Mahan more than breathed life into rarely-played works by Dufay, Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, and Purcell – using recreations of Renaissance and Baroque organs and harpsichords, he breathed fire into them. Not a single phrase lacked purpose or direction the entire evening.” (Keyboard Magazine, July 2005)
“Finally, two solos by Mahan Esfahani deserve special mention – Sweelinck’s Mein junges Leben hat ein End, a tour de force on the harpsichord, and his dramatic improvisation on the organ… the audience went wild.” (San Francisco Classical Voice, June 2006)
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