Simurgh Ensemble

Karim Alishahi | Voce, tar e daf
Salvo Barbagallo | Sax soprano
Andrea Liotta | Percussioni

The Simurgh Ensemble is a company of classical Persian music and dance founded in 2012 by maestro Karim Alishahi, a Persian musician who has been living in Catania. The name of the group, “Simurgh,” is inspired by a Persian mythological bird. The legend tells that Simurgh has lived through the life, death, and rebirth of the world many times and is considered a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, representing the union between heaven and earth.

Karim Alishahi, born in Tehran in 1965, is an expert in Radif, classical Persian music, and has studied with renowned masters like Zeidollah Tolui, Hossein Alizadeh, and Hushang Zarif. Starting from 1990, he began teaching music and participated in numerous concerts and festivals in Iran. He plays stringed instruments like the tar and the setar, both of which belong to the family of “long-necked” lutes, played respectively with a plectrum and the musician’s fingernails. These instruments produce a delicate sound that perfectly complements the modal scales and the deep spiritual approach of Persian music repertoire.

Andrea Liotta, born in Catania in 1994, is a drummer, percussionist, composer, and arranger. He obtained a degree with top marks in Percussion Instruments at the State Conservatory “A. Corelli” in Messina. Liotta developed his drumming skills from a young age and attended various masterclasses and workshops in jazz and classical music. He has been active in music concerts, recordings, and teaching.

Salvo Barbagallo is an unconventional “jazz” saxophonist who has played the Arabic ney, recorder flutes, and double reeds in medieval and Middle Eastern early music ensembles for several years. He later found himself involved with radical Central European improvisers. He has been active for many years with the Albafar trio, a musical project known for its “varied and heterogeneous stylistic blend,” with performances both in Italy and abroad.

2023 | 14° Edition, Asia, Europe, Iran, Italy, Middle East, Sicily