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TAK: Love, Crystal and Stone
with Darren Creech
From the Promoter
The sensual, energetic music of Ashkan Behzadi finds its perfect interpreters in the “young, fearless players" (Boston Globe) of TAK, a mixed quintet known for their intensely committed performances of complex, ambitious new chamber music.
This concert is the world premiere of Behzadi’s hour long song cycle on the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. The mix of influences that is so apparent in Lorca’s lyrical poetry – Andalusian flamenco, African American spirituals, Roma folklore and modern surrealism – are brilliantly embodied in the music of the Iranian-Canadian composer.
Ashkan Behzadi (b.1983) is an Iranian composer residing in New York City currently pursuing his doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University. He is a graduate of McGill University in composition and music theory and has studied composition with Alireza Mashayekhi, Chris Paul Harman, Brian Cherney, Philippe Leroux and George Lewis. Ashkan’s music has been performed by various ensembles internationally, including Divertimento Ensemble, neuverBand ensemble, Wet Ink, Talea Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, NAMES Ensemble and Esprit Orchestra.
TAK has collaborated with esteemed composers Mario Diaz de Leon, Lewis Nielson, Erin Gee, Tyshawn Sorey, Sam Pluta, Ashkan Behzadi, Natacha Diels, David Bird, and Taylor Brook, among many others.
An innovative artist, queer classical pianist Darren Creech “shows his belief in a new potential for the classical concert stage” (CBC Music), and his playing has been heralded as “full of ease, very convincing” (Yannick Nézet-Séguin). Engaging his audience through an immersive combination of (queer) theatre, captivating costumes, and glittery hair, he was the Keynote Performer at McGill University’s Music Graduate Symposium and was awarded the Best Artist Prize at Toronto’s Nuit Rose. Having grown up in Senegal, West Africa, Darren draws on his cross-cultural background to inform his unconventional approach to the stage. He currently lives in Toronto.