Ensemble Zar

About Ensemble Zar

Comprised of up to 14 of the UK’s finest musicians, Ensemble Zar is a fresh and fearless cross-genre ensemble whose mission is to express the Middle Eastern artistic temperament in its rawest form, and experiment with new sounds in the process. It’s musicians are well-versed in both Eastern and Western idioms, culminating in ancient Western and Asian instruments, equally at home performing complex written contemporary music as well as masters of improvisation, relishing in the spontaneous nature of Oriental music. 

Ensemble Zar has performed for the Metta Theatre production of ‘Arab Nights’ (dir. Poppy Burton-Morgan, Soho Theatre production). It has also, most notably, played the live score to the world’s first feature- length silent film animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed at the Southbank (part of Women of the World Festival - WOW) and Barbican as a Birds Eye View Film Festival commission, for which it received critical acclaim. 2014 saw a performance at Birmingham Symphony Hall and a recording of feature animation film, The Prophet, produced by Salma Hayek Pinault, with music by Gabriel Yared. 

About the musicians 
Each musician is an award-winning master and rebel of his/her own tradition with a natural feel for performing in trans-cultural contexts. Many of whom perform Western classical repertoire as well as traditional Eastern music (folk or classical art music), especially arranged or in its monodic form. All have toured the world performing in prestigious venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall, Southbank, Wigmore Hall, and the renowned Lebanese singer, Fairouz.

Writing for Ensemble Zar

Hyelim Kim


As composer and daegeum (Korean flute) soloist, Dr Hyelim Kim has been using pioneering intercultural/interdisciplinary approaches through rooted in Korean traditional music.
As a daegeum virtuoso, Kim was selected as an ‘emerging artist’ by the Korean Arts Council and as the Kumho Young Artist, has been invited to perform a live session with Nils Frahm on BBC Radio 3’s celebrated Late Junction, and was the soloist on the world premier of a daegeum  concertino performed with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, to name a few.

'An orchestration of personalities...'”

Faraz Eshghi Sahrai

Persian Kamanche/Qeychak

 As a diversely trained multi-instrumentalist , Faraz’s music reflects his passion for both Western classical and Middle-Eastern music.

A kamānche player and composer, Faraz Eshghi was born in Rasht, Northern Iran. He has been actively practicing Eastern and Western bowed instruments since 2000’s.Inspired by Iranian illuminated architecture, he published his first album “The Impression on The Wall” in 2009 and won the 2nd prize in a nationwide musical festival.


Enquiries about Ensemble Zar