Santur player, composer, and cultural inventor Amir Amiri dwells at the centre of a unique musical universe where ancient inspiration, dazzling virtuosity, and bold creativity meet. Surrounding himself with outstanding collaborators from the worlds of jazz, classical and world music, Amiri fearlessly transcends genres and borders, exquisitely transporting his ancient instrument into the musical conversations of our time.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Amiri is a master of the santur, a 72-string instrument dating from approximately 500 BCE.
Since arriving in Canada in 1996, Amiri has created numerous groundbreaking ensembles including the Amir Amiri Ensemble, inspired by the fluidity of musical influences in Iran and featuring the hypnotic presence of a Whirling Dervish; and Ensemble Kimya, a Montreal-Paris collaboration, combining early classical and contemporary music from Europe, the Middle East and India. Perséides, his duo with double bass player Jean Félix Mailloux, was featured at the National Arts Centre’s Sounds of Persia: Canada’s New Music Masters in 2018, where Amiri was Artistic Director.
His duo Moody Amiri, with violist Richard Moody, has been praised by CBC for its “tantalizing blend of eastern and western sensibilities”. Amir is also occasionally joined by his fellow master improviser, the jazz pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, in an evening of musical exploration and discovery.
Amir Amiri was awarded the 2003 CBC Artist of the Year from the Galaxie Rising Stars Program. He performs and tours with a vast spectrum of ensembles, enchanting with his signature down-to-earth style and profound connection with audiences.
Recent solo performances highlights include concerts at the Festival Vares Classics in Bosnia in September 2021 and at the Détours de Babel in France in early October 2021. He was invited to showcase with the Amir Amiri Ensemble at WOMEX 2021 in Porto. Future performances include a tour of Colombia at the Invitation of the Banco de la República.
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