Kayhan Kalhor – kamancheh (spiked fiddle)

Johnny Gandelsman – violin

Colin Jacobsen – violin

Nicholas Cords – viola

Michael Nicolas – cello


Silent City, the “stunning collaboration” between Iranian kamancheh, or spike-fiddle, virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and the adventurous, American string quartet, Brooklyn Rider has been hailed by the critics as “challenging music [that is] a real thrill ride” (Strings Magazine).  


“The borough’s chief string quartet teamed up with the Iranian fiddler ­Kayhan Kalhor for one of those cross-cultural evenings that might have made no sense at all but instead displayed a loose, magical logic. One of the quartet’s inaugural pair of CDs—titled Passport—captures some but not all of that night’s meandering beauties…” New YorkMagazine


“…the concert by the wildly inventive string quartet Brooklyn Rider and ­Kayhan Kalhor, an Iranian kamancheh (a traditional, bowed string ­instrument) player and Persian music master, on the Alverno Presents ­series Saturday evening…The five musicians closed the program with a ­captivating ­performance of Kalhor’s “Silent City,” which begins with a somber, ­mournful, kamancheh solo. Over the course of the piece, cold, gray sounds give way to warmer and fuller tones, ending in a lively, hopeful burst of energy – earnest, honest music that yielded a deeply moving performance.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


“A protracted, semi-improvised opening lament created a ­hovering, ­ruminatory air that gained not only a tension, but also a growing ­anticipation, eventually breaking out in a jubilant twine of tones exploding in all ­directions. It suggested the dawn of a new, better life.” Los Angeles Times


Kayhan Kalhor is a GRAMMY-Award nominated soloist and composer. Born in Tehran, Iran, he began his musical studies at the age of seven. He has traveled extensively throughout Iran, studying the music of its many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan. Kayhan Kahlor has toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon.  He is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan, Ghazal: Persian & Indian Improvisations and Masters of Persian Music. Kayhan Kahlor has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists and instrumentalists and was most recently featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth Without Youth in a score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov. He is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and his compositions appear on all three of the Ensemble’s albums.  

Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike.  Born out of a desire to use the rich medium of the string quartet as a vehicle for borderless communication, all of the musicians have enjoyed diverse careers in music that have intersected with each other over many years. Brooklyn Rider recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac, for which it recorded and toured 15 specially commissioned works, each inspired by a different artistic muse. The group has worked with collaborators from Anne Sofie von Otter to Wendy Whelan and frequently perform with the Silk Road Ensemble.




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