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Music & Artists

Dong-won kim whirling with the jang-go, an hourglass drum, in front of a crowd on the street

Engaging New Audiences
Silk Road Ensemble member Dong-Won Kim plays the jang-go on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago. Residencies in museums and universities allow Ensemble members to take inspiration from works of visual art, collaborate on new projects, and share musical traditions with audiences in informal settings.

Siamak Aghaei


"In my work with the Silk Road Project I want to extend the compass of my musical imagination, to make a deeper and smoother connection with the audiences and musicians in our performances and to plunge into the kind of compound music that is composed by the best and performed by the best."


Siamak Aghaei

Santur, composer (Iran) Siamak Aghaei, born in Ahvaz, ranks among the best Iranian classical musicians of his generation. He began studying the santur at the age of eight with renowned master Parviz Meshkatian and later the radif (Persian repertoire) with Majid Kiani.

Since 1997 he has divided his musical interests between the study of folk music traditions of Iran and the performance of the classical santur. He has collected an audiovisual archive of music and instruments from Northern Khorasan and has arranged a series of lectures for radio on the different schools of santur playing and its techniques.

In 2000 Aghaei was invited by Kayhan Kalhor to join his ensemble and the Silk Road Ensemble, with whom he tours around the world. He also performs with Ensemble Aftaab and Atlas Ensemble. He founded the group Santurnavazan (Santur Players) to promote the distinct performing techniques and sound possibilities of his instrument.

Aghaei received his degree in music from Tehran University of the Arts and resides in Tehran, where he is active as a teacher and performer.

He appears on all the Silk Road Ensemble’s albums When Strangers Meet and Beyond the Horizon.





Other Ensemble members from Iran
Siamak Jahangiry
Kayhan Kalhor