Mahan Esfahani has made it his life’s mission to rehabilitate the harpsichord, bringing it into the mainstream of concert instruments. To that end, his creative programming and efforts commissioning new works have drawn the attention of critics and audiences across Europe, Asia, and North America. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellow, and a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of
Mr. Esfahani’s success on the harpsichord has taken him to such major venues as Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Oji Hall, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Konzerthaus Berlin, Zurich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus, 92nd Street Y, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and Kölner Philharmonie. He appears at a variety of festivals and series, including the Mostly Mozart Festival, San Francisco Performances, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, Aldeburgh Festival, Madrid’s Fundación Juan March, Bergen International Festival, Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Al Bustan Festival, Jerusalem Arts Festival, and Leipzig Bach Festival. He has performed concertos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ensemble Modern, Concerto Köln, La Folia Barockorchester, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Aarhus Symfoniorkester, Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
A frequent collaborator with composers, Mr. Esfahani has recently worked on solo and concerto projects with Francisco Coll, Elena Kats-Chernin, Bent Sørensen, Miroslav Srnka, Daniel Kidane, Anahita Abbasi, Gary Carpenter, Sunleif Rasmussen, Harold Meltzer, and George E. Lewis.
Mr. Esfahani’s richly varied discography includes two critically acclaimed recordings for Hyperion Records—C. P. E. Bach: Württemberg Sonatas, garnering a 2014 Gramophone Award, and Rameau: Pièces de Clavecin, which was nominated for a Gramophone Award and named one of the “Best of 2014” in The New York Times—and two albums for Deutsche Grammophon (DG). Time Present and Time Past, the first for DG, garnered Classica’s Choc de Classica in France. His most recent DG album was Bach: Goldberg Variations, released in August 2016 to praise from the British and foreign press, most notably being named to the long list for the German Record Critics’ Award and winning the BBC Music Magazine 2017 Instrumental Award.