Mahan Esfahani made his US concerto debut last week with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Giving three performances of Poulenc’s Concert champêtre, Mahan played under the directorship of Harry Bicket in concerts which also featured music by J.S. Bach and Rameau.
Performing in the Chicago Symphony Center, Mahan received glowing press for his interpretation:
“The dashing soloist, playing a lovely-sounding, two-manual harpsichord, was the Iranian-born, British harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, substituting for Kristian Bezuidenhout, who had withdrawn for health reasons. He tossed off the animated sprays of notes with deft rhythmic attack and seemingly infallible fingers, setting the delicate timbres of his instrument in clear relief against the surrounding accompaniment. Esfahani follow[ed] the concerto with a solo encore: Rameau’s “Gavotte and Variations,” which gave his virtuosic mettle full rein.” - John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune