Born in Tehran in 1976, Kiya Tabassian received his initial training in Persian music from Mehrdad Torabi at the Bahârlou Institute in Tehran, from Reza Ghassemi in Paris and Kayhan Kalhor in Montreal. He has since continued to develop his instrumental skills independently. He has also studied composition at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay and Michel Gonneville.
In 1989, he founded the Tahmassebi Ensemble. In addition to directing the group, he contributed several compositions to its repertoire. The ensemble gave several concerts throughout Iran and performed on the Iranian national broadcasting network. In 1990, upon his arrival in Canada, he co-founded the Darvish-Khan Trio, an ensemble devoted to classical Persian music. He is also the co-founder of Constantinople, an ensemble that specializes in medieval and Renaissance music, and Nowrouz, which is devoted to classical Persian music. Both ensembles have performed in a number of Canadian cities.
Kiya has collaborated with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on several occasions as a performer and special co-host. In addition, he performs regularly throughout the U.S., France, Greece and Mexico, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians.
In 2000, he was composer in residence for Musique Multi Montréal with a project entitled “Poussières d’étoiles.” Along with his brother Ziya, he recorded his first CD of Persian classical music titled Garden of the Memory on the XXI-21 label. He has also recorded several CDs with Constantinople on the ATMA label.
Since March 2002, he has been an active member of the MediMuses project, as a member of the research group on the history of Mediterranean music.
Kiya is a member of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Kiya has frequently been invited to give lectures and presentations on Persian music.
With Constantinople (Early Music ensemble)
Musique du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance (Atma)
Memoria Sefardí – Jewish & Christian Spanish Music (Atma)
Li Tans Nouveaus (Atma)
De Castille à Samarkand (Atma 22383)
Greece – Carrefour De La Méditerrannée, with ensemble En Chordais (Atma)
Que le Yable les emporte (Atma Classique)
Terra nostra – 17th century Mexico (Atma 22567)
Ay Amor (Atma Classique)
Premiers Songes (Analekta)
Marco Polo (World Village)
Jardins migrateurs (Analekta)