ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - The World Music Expo (WOMEX) announced on Thursday that Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) composer and virtuoso instrumentalist Kayhan Kalhor is the winner of the organization’s 2019 Artist Award.
Kalhor is a Grammy-nominated composer and performer known throughout the world as a master of the traditional music of the Persian and Kurdish cultures. He is originally from the city of Kermanshah (Kermashan).
He performs on the kamancheh, a bowed string instrument commonly used in Iranian, Kurdish, Turkish, Armenian, and Azerbaijani classical music.
He is set to receive the prominent award at the 25th anniversary edition of WOMEX in Tampere, Finland, to be held on Sunday, October 27. He will perform a duet with Turkish folk musician Erdal Erzincan playing the bağlama, a round-backed string instrument similar to an oud or a lute, in what will be the final concert of WOMEX 2019.
Both have performed previously in the Kurdistan Region at a summer festival.
“Receiving the WOMEX Artist Award means so much to me. The award is [a] recognition of the rich culture of my homeland Iran and an ageless Persian art that thrives and is beloved throughout the world,” said Kalhor.
“As forces arise across the globe and push for divisiveness, borders, and intolerance, music brings us together and reminds us of our common humanity,” he continued. “As a citizen of the world, I am humbled by this recognition and stand with artists whose music fosters unity.”
Kalhor is a founding member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and has collaborated with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
Additionally, he has worked with several important composers including Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, and Caroline Shaw.
Editing by John J. Catherine