Time regained

28 November 2016

International virtuoso harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will perform a compelling programme of baroque and contemporary classics together with London-based Russian Virtuosi of Europe orchestra under direction of Yuri Zhislin.

Concert Programme

J.S Bach Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor BWV1052   (1738)
H. Gorecky Harpsichord Concerto op. 40    (1980)
B. Bartok Romanian Folk Dances   (1915)
P. Tchaikovsky Souvenir De Florence   (1892)

This concert is a chance to hear one of the world’s greatest harpsichord masters play with one of London’s finest string ensembles in an intimate chamber setting in the heart of London. A champion of this often underrepresented instrument, Esfahani prides himself on bringing the harpsichord into mainstream 21st Century consciousness, and on proving its relevance to contemporary audiences.

``I am known to the London public as someone who always has a new surprise in store,’’ said Mr. Esfahani. ``You cannot predict what I'm going to play or how I'm going to play it, and with the inclusion of both a modern concerto and a concerto from the golden age of the harpsichord I seek to show how 'contemporary' a work by someone like Bach is.’’

``When the harpsichord was taken over by the Early Music movement its relevance as a solo instrument - particularly for contemporary music - got left by the wayside. It's something that I lament, and my sense of drive comes from the fact that I'm obsessed with my instrument and I want to share that with others. The harpsichord is as relevant as anything else that's beautiful for a 21st-century audience.’’

Born in Tehran in 1984, Mr. Esfahani is an award-winning harpsichordist and musicologist who studied at Stanford University in California. His recordings on Hyperion and Deutsche Grammophon have been welcomed with critical acclaim.

Mr. Esfahani was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, 2008 to 2010, the first harpsichordist to enjoy this honor. In 2009, he received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, once again the first harpsichordist to be decorated as such. His Wigmore Hall debut was in 2009, and in 2015 he became a professor of harpsichord at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

The Russian Virtuosi of Europe was founded in London in 2004 by Russian violinist Yuri Zhislin in order to bring together musicians who are passionate about Russia’s classical music heritage and the Western tradition of chamber music. The musicians have earned awards in almost all of the major international competitions – Paganini, Michael Hill, Brahms, Lipitzer, and Queen Elisabeth competitions. Their latest release on Orchid Classics was selected as BBC music Magazine’s Orchestral Choice (5*), and Classic FM’s Critic’s Choice.Concert duration approx. 2 hours with interval

Photo by Bernhard Musil / DG