Music – Edmonton
Mehdi Rezania, born in Abadeh, Iran is a composer, santur player, and researcher. He started music at age 13 and studied the advanced method of santur playing under Ardavan Kamkar in Tehran. He co-founded Baarbad music in Toronto with Toloe Roushenas and has performed numerously with many local and international musicians including Salar Aghili, Keivan Saket, Hossein Behroozinia, Sinfonia Toronto. His music projects have been supported by grants from art councils of Toronto, Edmonton, Ontario, Alberta and Canada and his composition received the bi-annual Robert Stenson Award from Society of Ethnomusicology. He has released five music albums. He has been music advisor to Iranian Heritage Day at the Royal Ontario Museum and artistic advisor to Tirgan Festival in Toronto. He has published three solo albums and two collaborative albums. Rezania has organized multiple cultural events including 14 Majles (music & poetry) series in Edmonton presenting a diverse range of music and poetry of various cultures. Rezania is the winner of Robert Stevenson Prize from Society for Ethnomusicology (2023) and the winner of Edmonton Artist Trust Fund in 2023. He has a BFA and MA in music composition from York University and an MA in ethnomusicology at the University of Alberta. He has presented his research in international and national conferences including Society for Ethnomusicology, International Council for Traditional Music, British Forum for Ethnomusicology, Middle Eastern Studies Association, Canadian Society for Traditional Music, and Analytical Approaches to World Music. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of Alberta supported by Social Science and Humanities Research Council. His interest is in contemporary classical music of Iran inside and abroad the country, the impact of politics, migration and globalization on its theory, performance, composition, and dissemination.