Mahan Esfahani, campaigning to make the harpsichord mainstream

Posted on: May 31, 2018

“Mahan Esfahani is a musician on a mission. ‘Until the harpsichord has the presence that any other mainstream instrument has, my work isn’t done,’ he said,” writes Farah Nayeri in Wednesday’s (5/30) New York Times. “Born in Tehran, raised in the United States and now living in Prague, the 34-year-old is experiencing something of a breakthrough year…. Mr. Esfahani has also been known to cause controversy with his choice of concert repertoire…. He is outspoken on Twitter … He first heard [the harpsichord] at the age of 9 … a cassette of the Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Ruzickova [who] later became Mr. Esfahani’s mentor…. He finally got a harpsichord at age 16. But it wasn’t until his years at Stanford University … that he actually studied the instrument…. He then spent two years in Boston practicing frenziedly to make up for lost time…. He got a scholarship to study the organ in Milan. [Then] the BBC chose him as one of its New Generation Artists—giving him concert, broadcast and recording opportunities, and opening him up to modern music, which he now spends 60 percent of his time playing.”

Posted May 31, 2018