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Shiraz is an Iranian music ensemble based in Toronto founded by Araz Salek. Shiraz has been actively performing in different festivals and musical collaborations across Ontario and Quebec since 2007. Shiraz played in such prestigious festivals as the Small World Music Festival, Tirgan, Montreal’s Festival du Monde Arabe, and the X-Avant Festival.
While Shiraz members have joined various cross-cultural productions along their musical career, performing the music of Iran’s Qajar dynasty (1794-1925) has always been their particular passion.
One of the most prominent Iranian masters of the tombak (goblet drum), Pedram Khavarzamini learned to play alongside the masters Kamyar Mohabbat and Bahman Rajabi. His international career has taken him to such prestigious stages as the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, Lincoln Center Hall in New York, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Thomas Jefferson Theatre in Washington, and the Chicago Cultural Center, where he has performed alongside such musicians as Keyhan Kalhor, Ross Daly, Rahim Khushnavaz, Habil Aliev, Ballake Sissoko, Dhruba Gosh, and Dariush Talaei. He now resides in Toronto.
Kianoush Khalilian is a composer and a highly skilled player of the ney (Persian reed flute). He began his studies with very distinguished Iranian masters, including Hasan Nahid in 1990 in Tehran; five years later he ranked first in the nationwide Iranian school competition for ney performance. Kianoush has performed in concerts in Iran, Canada and across Europe, and has won awards for his outstanding teaching. He is about to publish his first book: a guide to learning the ney.
Araz Salek plays the tar (Persian lute). Trained in Tehran by master tar players, he has taught in schools, at the University of Alberta, and the Labyrinth Institute in Crete, Greece. He co-founded the Shiraz Ensemble, and is a member of the Crete / Toronto quartet “This tale of ours” with Ross Daly. Araz has performed in Canada, Iran, and in Europe, appearing at numerous festivals. Alongside his high-profile performing work, he continues to teach and to perform in small venues and experimental contexts in Toronto.
Mahan Nohroudi started learning the santour (Persian hammer dulcimer) at the age of eight. He studied with great teachers such as Parviz Meshkatian and Ardavan Kamkar. As a santour virtuoso, Mahan has performed in many concerts in Iran, Europe, and Canada, and can be heard on many albums. Mahan moved to Canada in 2014, and has been teaching santour at the Sarv Music Academy in Toronto ever since.
August 31, 2017Music
Toronto’s Shiraz Ensemble returns with its nuanced, virtuosic performances of classical Persian music. Pedram Khavarzamini (tombak), Kianoosh Khalilian (ney), Araz Salek (tar), and Mahan Nohroudi (santour)