From Renaissance to Reich: Mahan Esfahani, harpshichord

Thomas Tomkins: Pavan
Giles Farnaby: Woody-Cock
Henry Cowell: Set of Four
Viktor Kalabis: Three Aquarelles
Kaija Saariaho: Jardin Secret II
J.S. Bach: Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911
Steve Reich: Piano Phase

Mahan Esfahani has almost single-handedly reintroduced the harpsichord into the mainstream of concert life. The Iranian-American musician was honored in 2015 with the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year award and was nominated in three categories for the Gramophone Awards – Best Baroque Instrumental, Best Instrumental and Artist of the Year. His imaginative approach proves that the harpsichord is an instrument for today, not only relevant but even revolutionary, with concerts often juxtaposing early music with works that are modern and even avant-garde. His recital ranges from the English Renaissance to a new version of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase.

“Now he emerges as a superstar whose musicianship, imagination, virtuosity, cultural breadth and charisma far transcends the ivory tower in which the harpsichord has traditionally been placed.” —The Times