Keyhan Kalhor, an Iranian Kurdish iconic musician won 2019 WOMEX “for the mastery and virtuosity of the Kamancheh;”an instrument he plays.
“For the mastery and virtuosity of the Kamancheh, for the ceaseless innovation and collaboration to create exciting new musical languages and for bringing the Persian classical music tradition to the ears of people all over the world, Piranha Arts, the organisers of WOMEX, are delighted to present the WOMEX Artist Award 2019 to Kayhan Kalhor,” WOMEX said in a statement.
Kalhor received the award in Finland after his performance. WOMEX has prized the Kurdish musician and said that Kamanche is the voice of Kalhor.
“He creates whole languages in which to communicate with people from all over the world, from centuries past and far into the future,” WOMEX said, “Throughout his career, Kayhan Kalhor has worked with the best musicians from across Iran and studied the folk music of Kurdistan and Khorasan, allowing all of these voices to permeate his own sound.”
Kalhor described the award as the recognition of Iran’s rich culture.
"Receiving the WOMEX Artist Award means so much to me,” Kalhor said, “The award is a recognition of the rich culture of my homeland Iran and an ageless Persian art that thrives and is beloved throughout the world.”
“As forces arise across the globe and push for divisiveness, borders and intolerance, music brings us together and reminds us of our common humanity. As a citizen of the world, I am humbled by this recognition and stand with artists whose music fosters unity,” he added.