Farhad is an Edmonton-based composer and santur (Persian dulcimer) player, originally from Iran. He moved to Canada in 2012 to continue his studies at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of Alberta. In 2017, he received the Edmonton Arts Council Cultural Diversity grant to record his debut album “Sleeping in Sorrow”. Rooted in Iranian classical music, Farhad expands the genre merging new textures of percussion with Western cello, violin, and vocal to create a modern mélange of east and west. This album explores the theme of child labour, capturing the sounds and emotions of the children working in harsh environments to make a living, deprived of their basic needs.

Sleeping in Sorrow was received with critical acclaim. The album was shortlisted for the Edmonton Music Prize in 2017, along with nominations for World Artist of the Year at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards and World Music Recording of the Year at the 2018 Edmonton Music Awards.

In 2018, Farhad received the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Music Individual Project grant as well as an Edmonton Arts Council grant to record his sophomore album Mosàfer – a santur and percussion duo which translates some of the deepest existential Persian poetries into instrumental music. Farhad received the 2020 Edmonton Music Prize for this album. Mosàfer is described by PAN M 360 as:

“With its long notes that stretch and rise in the night like sparks from a campfire, Mosafèr makes an excellent soundtrack for contemplating the Perseids and watching for shooting stars.”

Farhad has performed in multiple venues and festivals in Edmonton, including Royal Alberta Museum, Winspear Centre, Alberta Culture Days, Mile Zero Dance, Arden theatre, and the Yardbird Suite. Accompanied by the award-winning percussionist, Daniel Stadnicki, Farhad has toured as part of the Prairie Debut “Close to Home” initiative in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and BC, during the 2021-2023 season. They will continue touring with Prairie Debut as part of the 2024-2025 roster.

Farhad has also composed original music for multiple theatre productions and short films since 2017. His original score for the theatre production “Anahita’s Republic” got nominated for the outstanding score of a play or musical at the 2023 Sterling Awards.

He is currently working on his next music project – story-telling through instrumental music, written for santur, string quartet, and percussion. He received an Alberta Foundation for the Arts Music Individual Project funding to support this work and is aiming to record these compositions in 2024.