Mahan Esfahani has made it his life’s mission to rehabilitate the harpsichord in the mainstream of concert instruments, and to that end his creative programming and work in commissioning new works have drawn the attention of critics and audiences alike. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010), a Borletti-Buitoni prizewinner (2009), and a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year (2014, 2015, and 2017).
His work for the harpsichord has resulted in recitals in most of the major series and halls, amongst them London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, Oji Hall in Tokyo, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall in New York, Melbourne Recital Centre, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, Berlin Konzerthaus, Zurich Tonhalle, Wiener Konzerthaus, 92nd St Y, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Cologne Philharmonie, Edinburgh International Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Madrid’s Fundacion March, Bergen Festival, Al Bustan Festival, Jerusalem Arts Festival, and the Leipzig Bach Festival, and concerto appearances with the Chicago Symphony, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Czech Radio Symphony, Orquesta de Navarra, Malta Philharmonic, Aarhus Symphony, Hamburg Symphony, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
His richly-varied discography – from C.P.E. Bach’s ‘Wurttemberg’ Sonatas to works by Ligeti and Steve Reich to the complete keyboard works of Rameau – has won him several Gramophone nominations, one Gramophone Award (2014), two BBC Music Magazine Awards (2015 and 2017), and a Diapason d’Or. Esfahani studied musicology and history at Stanford University and studied harpsichord in Boston with Peter Watchorn before completing his training under the celebrated Czech harpsichordist Zuzana R?ži?ková.