Kiu Haghighi is a leading Persian classical santoor player. His instrument, the santoor (or santur), dates back to the eleventh century. This ancient instrument is a trapezoid-shaped walnut box with eighty strings which are fitted over and between ten bridges in groups of four and are struck with thin, wooden mallets covered on the tips with leather. In addition to being the prototype of the piano, variations on the santoor, such as the hammered dulcimer and the cymbalom, have been introduced in Hungary, Germany, China, Japan, Greece and India.
Kiu Haghighi began his lifetime study of the santoor at the age of ten. As a teenager, he performed on National Iranian Radio. At nineteen he was invited to join the Iranian Ministry of Education and Art as the featured soloist in the Academy Orchestra and as a regular performer on National Iranian Television.
Since 1965 he has performed concerts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Switzerland and Japan.