Mahan Esfahani


Mahan Esfahani was born in Tehran in 1984 and first was exposed to the piano by his father before exploring a teenaged interest in the harpsichord.

After studies in musicology at Stanford University and private studies with Peter Watchorn in Boston, Mahan completed his training with Zuzana Ruzicková in Prague. Since making his debut in London in 2009 and a stint as the first harpsichordist to be BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010), he has enjoyed a career as a recitalist and concerto soloist in such halls as Zurich’s Tonhalle, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Cologne Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Sumida Symphony Hall, New York’s Frick Collection, Vancouver’s Chan Centre, the Library of Congress in Washington, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Wigmore Hall, where he is a regular guest.

He played the first harpsichord recital in the history of the Proms, and returned to the Proms with his orchestration of Bach’s “Art of Fugue” for the Academy of Ancient Music, which was selected as the “Top Ten of Classical Music” for 2012 in The Observer.

A frequent commentator on radio and television and a contributor to various magazines and publications, he works to take the harpsichord beyond the realm of early music into mainstream halls and series. A reflection of this, Mahan was shortlisted in the instrumentalist category at the 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and was nominated Gramophone “Artist of the Year”.

Upcoming highlights include appearances in Munich’s Bell’Arte Festival, Schloss Elmau, the Leipzig Bach-Festspiele, Bratislava Days of Early Music, and the Barbican in London. Regular collaborators include mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital and Michala Petri. December 2014 Mahan Esfahani was appointed harpsichord professor at Guildhall School.

A disc of C.P.E. Bach’s Württemberg Sonatas for Hyperion won a Diapason d’Or, was BBC Music Magazine “Record of the Month”, and won the 2014 Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Instrumental Album, while a two-disc set of the complete suites by Rameau received 5 Stars in Diapason. In 2014 Mahan Esfahani signed as an Exclusive Artist with Deutsche Grammophon; his first disc, combining modern and period works, was released in the Spring of 2015.