Pianist Tara Kamangar has been praised as a "huge talent" (London Evening Standard) and a "world-class musician who excels at blending the best of Western and Middle-Eastern compositions" (Gulf News). With a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach to Behzad Ranjbaran, Tara brings audiences rarely heard works by Iranian composers of the past century. Her recent performance credits have included such venues as London's Cadogan Hall, Wathen Hall, David Josefowitz Recital Hall, at the Whitehall Palace, New York City's Skirball Auditorium, Washington DC's National Gallery of Art and LA's Walt Disney Hall.
Born to a musical family, Tara has studied the piano and violin from the age of three. She is an honors graduate of Harvard University, where she received her BA in Anthropology with a specialization in Ethnomusicology, and an honors graduate of London's Royal Academy of Music, where she completed postgraduate studies in piano performance as a recipient of the Kathleen Bayfield scholarship. An unusually versatile musician, her recent recordings and collaborations range from soul singer and The Roots protege Antoniette Costa, to the "Spanish Maestro of the Guitar," Angel Romero. Tara is also featured prominently as a gypsy-jazz violinist on the latest album of the Iranian rock band, Kiosk, named one of the best albums of 2010 by BBC World's World of Music, as well as in the latest album of Mohsen Namjoo, Useless Kisses, in which she performs classical piano selections to the accompaniment of Persian poetry.
Tara's debut solo classical album, East of Melancholy: Piano Music from Russia to Iran, will be available shortly. Tara chose to combine her favorite works by composers from Russia, Armenia, Tajikistan and Iran in this album due to the considerable exchange of artistic ideas in this region throughout the centuries. Piano selections by established composers such as Glinka, Rachmaninoff, and Khachaturian, who were often influenced by their ideas of the exotic Orient and by folk music from the Caucasus region, set the stage for rare gems by Iranian composers Aminollah Hossein and Loris Tjeknavorian, which are not as known to the West due to the political turmoil in Iran throughout the past century. Recorded on The Scoring Stage at Skywalker Sound by producer and Grammy® winning engineer Leslie Ann Jones, this album also comes with a strong visual component. It will be released with a series of cutting-edge music videos by Berlin-based director Matthias Heuermann, as well as a short animation by renowned filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi.
"Huge talent..."- The Evening Standard
"A world-class pianist who excels at blending the best of Western and Middle Eastern compositions"- Gulf News
"Kamangar was a skilled advocate, playing with nimble technique and lustrous phrasing"- The San Francisco Chronicle
"Her fingers moved like liquid gold...Softer passages were especially lovely and poetic"- San Francisco Classical Voice
"Tara's expressive playing will speak to listeners of any nationality"- BBC Persian
"The summer breeze through the palm trees surrounding the amphitheater at Darioush’s modern Persepolis blended with the sound of Angel Romero’s guitar and Tara Kamangar’s piano.- San Francisco Examiner
Guests — including Donna Summer, David Foster and Babyface — were said to be spellbound."
"Tara played to a full house and rapturous applause...An impeccable performance of the cycle of Tjeknavorian's Danses Fantastiques proved particularly popular"- Harvard Club of the United Kingdom
"Tara played with an elegant force and conviction...The audience was enchanted"- Iranian.com
"With her elegant fingers flying over the ivory keys, [Tara] had the room captivated...Some may say that classical music is not their 'thing' but Tara is capable of converting you. She puts her entire being into her music"- Asian Woman Magazine
"[Tara] has the world at her fingertips"- Modesto Bee
"A sensitive, dedicated pianist with lots of fire and depth"- Conductor Loris Tjeknavorian
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