Kayhan Kalhor was born in Tehran in 1963. At the age of seven he began his music studies under Master Ahmad Mohajer. A child prodigy on the kamancheh, he was invited at the age of thirteen to work in the Iranian National Radio and Television Orchestra, where he performed for five years.
At seventeen, Kalhor began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Centre, the most prestigious arts organisation at the time in Iran. While performing with Shayda, he continued studying the Iranian classical repertoire (radif) with different masters. He also absorbed regional repertoires and styles in the course of his travels in Iran, including those of Khorasan in the northeast and Kurdistan in the west.
Kalhor studied Western classical music in Rome and at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He has composed works for Iran's most renowned vocalists, including Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri, and also performed with Iran's greatest masters, including Faramarz Payvar and Hossein Alizadeh. In 1991 he co-founded Dastan, the renowned Persian classical music ensemble, and in 1997 he and Shujaat Khan launched Ghazal.
Erdal Erzincan was born in Erzumrum in 1971, and at an early age became deeply interested in the region’s folk music. Introduced to the baglama, he moved to Istanbul in 1985 to take lessons at the Arif Sag Music School. While studying at the Istanbul Technical University in the late 1980s he began to research finger-picking approaches to playing the baglama (as opposed to the more common plectrum style).
His first solo album “Tore” was released in 1994, the first of many successful discs, opening the way also for international performances. In 1996 he and Arif Sag collaborated with the Köln Philharmonic, an experiment continued by Erzincan in 2004 with the Ambassade Symphony Orchester Wien, an ensemble of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Erdal Erzincan teaches at a music school that carries his name and also leads a Baglama Orchestra comprised of 25 of his students.