Mahan Esfahani

~ Person


Mahan Esfahani (Persian: ماهان اصفهانی ) (born 1984 in Tehran) is an Iranian-American harpsichordist.

Mahan Esfahani was born in Tehran in 1984 and received his first guidance on the piano from his Iranian father before exploring an interest in the harpsichord as a teenager.

He went on to study musicology and history at Stanford University, where he was mentored by George Houle, before studying intensively with Peter Watchorn in Boston and completing his formation with Zuzana Růžičková in Prague. In Stanford University, his teachers included Elaine Thornburgh, Herbert Myers, George Houle, Heather Hadlock, and Adam Gilbert. He subsequently continued harpsichord studies with Peter Watchorn in Boston, with Lorenzo Ghielmi in Milan, and later with Zuzana Růžičková. He was Artist-in-Residence at New College, Oxford from 2008 to 2010.

From 2008 to 2010, Esfahani was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the first harpsichordist named as a New Generation Artist. He received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2009, the first harpsichordist and first Iranian in the history of the award. Esfahani made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2009 as a concerto soloist with The English Concert. Later in 2009, he made his debut at The Proms in 3 concerts that featured New Generation Artists. In July 2011, Esfahani gave the first solo harpsichord recital in the history of The Proms, at Cadogan Hall. He returned to The Proms in July 2012, leading the Academy of Ancient Music in his own arrangement of JS Bach's The Art of Fugue. Outside of the UK, his New York debut was at the Frick Collection in March 2012.

Esfahani recorded Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Wurttemberg Sonatas for Hyperion Records, and the recording won a 2014 Gramophone Award in the Baroque Instrumental category. The same recording won him the BBC Music Magazine Award's 'Best Newcomer' award the following year. 2014 also saw Hyperion release his two-disc set of the complete harpsichord works of Jean-Philippe Rameau. In 2014, Esfahani signed a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon (DG), and his first DG recording, 'Time Present and Time Past', was released in 2015.

Esfahani became professor of harpsichord at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama in the spring of 2015.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2010 BBC Music, Volume 18, Number 9: Poulenc: Concert champêtre / Bach: Partita 4 in D, BWV 828 Mahan Esfahani 1
2014 Württemberg Sonatas, Wq 49 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach; Mahan Esfahani 1
2015 Time Present and Time Past Mahan Esfahani 5 2
2016 Goldberg Variations Bach; Mahan Esfahani 1

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