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  • Dorothée Jourdain

Amir Amiri on tour in France, July-October 2021

Amir Amiri - credit Nathaniel Huard

Santur player, composer, and cultural inventor Amir Amiri dwells at the centre of a unique musical universe where ancient inspiration, dazzling virtuosity, and bold creativity meet. Surrounding himself with outstanding collaborators from the worlds of jazz, classical and world music, Amiri fearlessly transcends genres and borders, exquisitely transporting his ancient instrument into the musical conversations of our time.

Amir Amiri was invited by the Cité internationale à Paris to be in residency in June and for a residency at the Fours à Chaux dans la Manche before his June tour dates.

Tour Dates

July 21, Ensemble Kimya Association FélixVal, Saint-Félicien (Ardèche)

July 25, Ensemble Kimya Festival Concerts de Vollore (Puy de Dôme)

August 21, Ensemble Kimya Festival Les Traversées Tatihou - Musiques du large (Manche)

August 22, Ensemble Kimya Association FélixVal, Saint Félicien (Ardèche)

August 28, Ensemble Kimya Festival Terres Vibrantes (Puy-de-Dôme)

October 1st, Amir Amiri en solo Festival Détours de Babel (Grenoble)

October 3, Ensemble Kimya Festival Détours de Babel (Grenoble)


About Amir Amiri

Born in Tehran, Iran, Amiri is a master of the santur, a 72-string instrument dating from approximately 500 BCE. Since arriving in Canada in 1996, Amiri has created numerous ground-breaking ensembles. Perséides, his duo with double bass player Jean Félix Mailloux, was featured at the National Arts Centre’s Sounds of Persia: Canada’s New Music Masters in 2018, where Amiri was Artistic Director. His duo Moody Amiri, with violist Richard Moody, has been praised by CBC for its “tantalizing blend of eastern and western sensibilities.” Additional ensembles include the Amir Amiri Quartet, inspired by the fluidity of musical influences in Iran and featuring the hypnotic presence of a Whirling Dervish; and Ensemble Kimya, a Montreal-Paris collaboration, combining early classical and contemporary music from Europe, the Middle East and India. Amir Amiri was awarded the 2003 CBC Artist of the Year from the Galaxie Rising Stars Program. He performs and tours with a vast spectrum of ensembles, enchanting with his signature down-to-earth style and profound connection with audiences.

Learn more

About the Ensemble Kimya

The Kimya ensemble (alchemy in Arabic), composed of four musicians from different backgrounds, spins the metaphor of the scientist who was once able to transform a metallic alloy into gold through music with mixed sounds, the result of a meeting between santour, viola, cello and percussion, between East and West and which leads to unexplored worlds.

The creations and adaptations of Amir Amiri and Olivier Marin impregnated with traditional motifs reworked in a resolutely contemporary approach build bridges between ancient cultures and the present. Their musical dialogue mixing Persian and Western classical music: they extend their research to the world of quarter-tones specific to Eastern music but also draw their inspiration from the Western repertoire offering original arrangements of the Folies d'Espagne or Black Brtittany by Garth Knox in collaboration with percussionist Roméo Monteiro and cellist Myrtille Hertzel.

When cultures meet, they transform and enrich each other, and if Kimya revives the treasures of the past, the creation is nonetheless turned towards the future with extraordinary contemporary instruments (santour with removable bridges, Italian-Persian viola etc...) and collaborative projects with digital artists like Myriam Boucher.

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