Kiya Tabassian was born in 1976, in Tehran, Iran, immigrating to Quebec in 1990. He has been trained in Persian music under Reza Ghasemi and Kayhan Kalhor. He studied musical composition at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal with Gilles Tremblay.

In 1998, he co-founded Constantinople[1] a Montreal based ensemble which has earned an international reputation for its unique juxtaposition of early musical sources and the living traditions of the Middle East. Last two years, Kiya has toured intensively Canada, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Holland, France, Cyprus, Lebanon, Greece, Hong Kong and Mexico. He has recorded ten CDs for the ATMA label and has created with Constantinople over 20 original programs performing them at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues such as Festival d'Aix-en-Provence (France), Festival de Musiques Sacrées de Fès (Morocco), Festival d'Ile de France (Paris), Metropolitan Museum (New York), Festival de Mexico en el Centro historico (Mexico) and Vancouver Summer Festival (Canada).

From 2002 to 2005, he was involved in the international MediMuses research project on the history and repertoire of Mediterranean music land in several publishing and recording projects. As a composer, he has been commissioned by UER, CBC, Calefax wind quintette and Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.

He is currently a board member of the Montreal Art Council, and the president of the music section.


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