From Isfahan to Versailles: Persia, the Ottoman court and French Baroque music

Sunday 22 April 2018,
Room 10
Free, just drop in, limited seating

The festival is organised by the British Museum and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and made possible by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Recommend this event

Ensemble Constantinople take you on a musical journey where the music and poetry of Persian culture is performed in dialogue with music of the Ottoman and French courts.

They will revisit some of the most beautiful Persian classical music from 16th and 17th centuries and link them to the music of two great Baroque composers, Marin Marais (1656–1728) from the court of Louis XIV at Versailles and Dimitrie Cantemir (1673–1723) from the Ottoman court of Topkapi.

This performance in Room 10c (Assyria: Khorsabad) brings to mind the importance of ancient Mesopotamian cultures to the European identity, and the long history of exchange of ideas and cultures between east and west.

Kiya Tabassian setar and director
Fahmi Alqhai viola da gamba
Didem Başar canun
Patrick Graham tombak and percussion
Keyvan Chemirani zarb

Inspired by the ancient city illuminating both east and west, Ensemble Constantinople was founded in 1998 in Montreal by its artistic director, Kiya Tabassian. Regularly invited to perform at international festivals and in prestigious concert halls, including the Salle Pleyel, the Berliner Philharmonie, Cervantino Festival, and the BOZAR, Ensemble Constantinople is acclaimed by the public, music professionals and critics alike. The ensemble has released 16 albums, has created more than 40 works and has travelled to nearly 140 cities in 28 countries.

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Constantinople. © Youssef Shoufan.