Kiya Tabassian


Setar virtuoso and acclaimed composer, Kiya Tabassian has carved out a privileged place on the international music scene with his ensemble Constantinople and as a soloist. With his celebrated cross-cultural musical encounters, he travels across five continents to present his creations and his music on stages all over the world.

He has contributed to many eclectic projects as a composer, performer and improviser. To cite a few, he has collaborated with the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra, the CBC, and the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. He has actively participated in the international project MediMuses from 2002 to 2005, as a member of a research group on the history and the repertoire of Mediterranean music and acted as a contributor to several publishing and recording projects. He also intervened in the Atlas ensemble (Netherlands) since 2009 and contributed to the Atlas Academy as a tutor, a double project aimed at conjoining contemporary music and oral traditions together.

In 2015, he established and directed the very first world music residency program at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity and between 2017 and 2022, he acted as an Associate Artist of the prestigious Rencontres musicales de Conques (France), where he participates at the annual program of the festival and also presents recent creations from Constantinople.

Kiya was a member of the Conseil des Arts de Montréal for seven years; including as active chairman of the musical decision-making committee for three years. He is currently a member of the board of Directors of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

He is the artistic director of the Centre des Musiciens du Monde, a music Centre he co-founded in Montreal, in 2017, as a space for creation, meetings, exchanges and the transmission of knowledge between professional musicians and the public. For many years, the ensemble of his work has been supported by the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts