Inspired by the ancient city illuminating the East and West, Constantinople was founded in 2001 in Montreal by its artistic director, Kiya Tabassian. The ensemble has 20 albums to its credit on labels Analekta, Atma, World Village, Buda Musique, Ma Case, Dreyer Gaido and Glossa. Over the course of the decade, Constantinople has created nearly 50 works and travelled to more than 270 cities in 55 countries. Setar virtuoso and acclaimed composer, Kiya Tabassian has carved out a privileged place on the international music scene with his ensemble Constantinople and also as a soloist. Past master in cross-cultural musical encounters, he travels across the five continents for presenting his creations and his music on stages from all over the world.
At 14 years old, Kiya Tabassian emigrates with his family to Quebec, bringing with him a few years of training in Persian scholarly music and his budding career on the Iranian musical scene. Determined to become a musician, composer and, more broadly, a carrier of memory, he pursues his training in Persian music as an autodidact and through his recurrent meetings with Reza Gassemi and Kayhan Kalhor. In parallel, he studies musical composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay.