Kayhan Kalhor Ensemble

The Longest Night - Ancient celebration of the Yalda night
Sat 16 Dec / 20:15 - 21:30
Sat 16 Dec ’23
20:15 - 21:30
  • Sat 16 Dec ’23
    20:15 - 21:30

Kayhan Kalhor is a virtuoso on the string instrument the kamancheh and plays an important role in making Persian music known worldwide. This concert by the Kayhan Kalhor Ensemble features (new) music inspired by the Yalda night. This is one of the most important festivals after the Persian New Year, celebrating the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

The concert will feature new music by Kayhan Kalhor and the well-known Belgian 'ud player and composer Tristan Driessens. In their project entitled the Longest Night they play a cycle of instrumental works. All music is based on the modal improvisational traditions that form a common basis for the Persian and Ottoman musical cultures.

Together with santurist Pouyan Ataie and Dutch Rembrandt Trio members Tony Overwater (violone) and Vinsent Planjer (percussion), this promises to be a powerful concert full of poetry and mystical evocation. In short: goosebumps - of the good kind - guaranteed!


Yalda night
The long night of Yalda, marking the winter solstice, is considered the most important Iranian celebration after Nowruz (celebration of the beginning of the Persian New Year). Yalda depicts the concept of light and good against darkness and evil in the traditional Persian religion of Zoroastrianism.

Cloakroom and drink 
Cloakroom and an intermission drink are included. If the event does not have an intermission, you will receive the drink afterwards. 

Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally renowned virtuoso on the kamancheh who has played an important role in the worldwide popularization of Persian through his many musical collaborations. He has studied the music of many Iranian regions. He founded several high-profile ensembles and has composed for the most renowned Persian vocalists, including Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri. He also performed and recorded albums with Iran's greatest instrumentalists.

He trained in Western classical music in Italy and Canada. He toured with the New York Philharmonic, among others. Composer John Adams invited him to perform a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his Perspectives Series. Kahlor has been part of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project since the very beginning, for which he also composes. Over the years, Kalhor has been nominated several times for a GRAMMY Award, winning one in 2017 with the Silkroad Ensemble.

Tristan Driessens
is a Belgian 'ud player and composer, mainly active in the field of Ottoman music, early music and modal jazz. Since 2022, Tristan Driessens has been composer-in-residence at the Bruges Concertgebouw.

He studied in Istanbul under the guidance of Necati Çelik and Yurdal Tokcan. After obtaining two master's degrees in Musicology (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Turkish UD (Lemmens Institute), he embarked on a successful musical journey with the Lâmekân Ensemble, which he founded in 2011. He played and participated in numerous projects with Kudsi Erguner and with many other renowned masters of classical Ottoman music. From 2016 to 2020, he worked for the world music center Muziekpublique as artistic director of Refugees for Refugees, an orchestra with a powerful message that toured throughout Europe to unanimous critical acclaim.


Kayhan Kalhor kemençe 
Tristan Driessens ud 
Pouyan Ataie santur 
Tony Overwater violone 
Vinsent Planjer percussion