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Praised for his prodigious talent and impassioned bravura playing, Dubai-born, Iranian concert pianist Arsha Kaviani is one of the most creative young artists concertising today. Equally at home with composing, performing and improvising; he was selected as one 30-under-30 top pianists in the world by International Piano Magazine, and has won praise for his technique, musical creativity and communicative charisma by some of the world's leading performers and conductors, including Krystian Zimerman, Stephen Hough and Daniel Barenboim.
Arsha's love for music grew at a very young age; but was given the right space to mature and grow in an organic way as he developed his own technique and solutions to difficulties in works as diverse as Feinberg Sonatas and Rachmaninov Concerti, with careful guidance from local piano teachers. His talent was very soon recognized and In 2004 at 14 years of age, after winning a regional competition Arsha made his concerto debut with the Dubai Chamber Orchestra, performing the 'Africa' Fantasy by Saint-Saens, and won a scholarship to the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester to study with Murray Mclachlan which he attended two years later. During his time at Chetham's, he performed Prokofiev's 2nd concerto with the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Rahbari, which he repeated with the Chetham's Symphony Orchestra after winning the concerto prize. He performed solo and chamber music in Moscow, played an all Godowksy recital as part of composer Ronald Stevenson's birthday concert at St John's Smith Sq, London & and inaugurated the opening of Steinway & Sons Middle East & Africa, with a solo recital at the Burj Al-Arab's Royal Ballroom in Dubai, U.A.E.
He continued his studies at the Royal Northern college of Music, where he supplemented his education with regular guest tutors such as Michell Beroff, Stephen Hough, Nelson Georner & Alexander Melnikov & mentorship from Vladimir Jurowski and Kirstjan Jarvi. During his first year at the RNCM he was selected to perform for the prestigious Gold Medal weekend, where he performed Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica among original compositions and other works, which Busoni expert and celebrated concert pianist Carlo Grante called 'Revelatory'. Busoni has come to be a composer very dear to him and in the following year he performed the monumental Op.39 Piano Concerto, for the opening of the Chetham's International Piano Festival, which internationally acclaimed musician and pedagogue Josef Banowetz said was 'one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.' He received the Alfred Clay Prize for Piano, when graduating from the RNCM which is given to the pianist with the best final recital. He then went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London with Dina Parakhina, and was selected as one of their Rising Stars.
During the last few seasons Arsha has performed critically acclaimed solo recitals, concertos and chamber music at some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world, ranging from the Doha Opera House (Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto with the Qatar Philharmonic, which was subject to a widely seen mini-documentary on him, by Al-Jazeera), London's Cadogan Hall (world premiere of original compositions and transcriptions, and multi-piano works), two split recitals with acclaimed violinist Jennifer Pike, in the Canary Islands, to the Tonhalle in Zürich (Strauss' Burleske with Kristjan Jarvi & the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich) as part of his selection as the first Middle-Eastern soloist in the history of the prestigious Orpheum Festival for Young Soloists, in Switzerland.
The critic of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote "The composition [Strauss' Burleske] was suitable not only for the representation of Kaviani's dazzling virtuosity, but also came to meet his flair for witty and sparkling scherzando elements." He was immediately re-invited by the artistic director of Orpheum, Howard Griffiths, to perform two Mozart Concertos, with improvised cadenzas with the Brandenburg State Orchestra in Germany. He was commissioned to write a programmatic Sonatine for the wedding of Viscount Weymouth VII, which resulted in numerous other commissions for solo piano and chamber music. He has since also performed numerous sold out concerts in Dubai, and Al-Ain (as part of the Abu Dhabi Classics festival), and is a regular feature of the Dubai Concert Committee.
This season sees him preform recitals and concerti, chamber music and original works, in the UK, Europe the Middle East & China, where he will make his debut in Shanghai with the TSO & Alexander Rahbari.
Fascinated by previous centuries' piano virtuosos - who, besides playing the major staples of the piano repertoire, were expected to compose their own, as well as improvise on and transcribe other composers' works - Arsha regularly improvises on themes provided by the audience during concerts, which is a long lost art of interaction between audience and performer. As a result his repertoire consists of staple masterpieces like concerti by Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Schumann but is also extended to his own compositions and unjustly neglected works, championing composers such as Samuil Feinberg, Leopold Godowsky, Nikolai Medtner and Ferruccio Busoni.
Growing up in an environment where classical music was a rarity, Arsha honed his ability to explain and guide his local audiences through relatively complex music, a byproduct of which in addition to his performing has given him a unique communicative gift for musical dialogue and conservation. Legendary pianist Krystian Zimerman said of this;
"Arsha has a real gift for music, and a charismatic approach to speaking and communicating it that is extremely rare".