10 ans !

Âstân Ensemble


Founded in 2014 in Montreal, ÂSTÂN is made up of musicians specialized in middle eastern music. Their artistic project draws on the traditional music of Iranian, Arab and Turkish cultures, aiming at creating new textures and new musical perceptions.


BASHIR FARAMARZI composer and santur player, born in 1982 in Mashhad, in northeastern Iran. He presently lives in Montreal, Canada. He begins learning the santur in his native city, Mashhad, at the age of 15. In 2006, after having studied Iranian music interpretation and radifunder master Majid Kiani, he earns his diploma from the University of Tehran. In 2007, Bashir goes to France, where he earns a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Music of the University of Paris VIII. Bashir knows the two great schools of the Persian santur, namely the traditional and contemporary styles, and is inspired by their individually unique instrumental approach. He has been teaching Iranian music and playing the setâr for more than ten years now. Today he plays with Ensemble Âstân, which he founded in 2014 in Montreal.

ZIYA TABASSIAN begins playing the tombak (Iranian percussion instrument) from the age of 10. After a brief initiation period in Iran, he continues his education as an autodidact. He resumes his studies upon his arrival in Montreal. From 1994 to 2001 he studies classical western percussion under Julien Grégoire, and earns his bachelor’s in Interpretation at the University of Montreal. He continues his research with Bahman Rajabi (Tehran), Aziz Alami (Fez), Trichy Sankaran (Toronto) and Misirli Ahmet (Istanbul).

OMAR ABOU AFACH is an artist who is recognized in Syria, his country of origin.  Holder of a licence from the Higher Institute of Music of Damascus, where he studied under Robert Verebes, he then earned a postgraduate diploma at the Music Conservatory of Boulonge-Billancourt in France, and benefited by the teachings of Simone Feyrabend.  Since 1995, he has toured and played with many symphonic orchestras from Syria and Algeria and with the Damascus Baroque Orchestra.  He also participated in the creation of an opera by Albinoni and a symphonic work by Abed Azari.

CHRISTOPHE PAPADIMITRIOU, double bassist graduated from Concordia University in 1992 Christophe Papadimitriou studied with Don Habib and Éric Lagacé. It can be found in various projects and several popular artists (Catherine Major, Soraya Benitez and Francine Poitras) in bands of world music (Ensemble Montréal Tango, Tango Vivo and Jean-Marc Hébert) and jazz (Mile-End jazz Quartet, Project Spot). He has participated in recording of more than twenty albums and continues his involvement in the Montreal music scene through the OFF Festival.