Born in Ghazvin, Iran in 1962, Madjid Khaladj began studying the tombak
at age seven. As a traditional musician and skilled pedagogue in several instruments, he is unanimously recognized as a master of Iranian percussions. Highly active internationally, he has perfomed in festivals, concerts, and conferences around the world. He has produced various recordings and art movie soundtracks with Ry Cooder and Lisa Gerrard, and has appeared in radio and television broadcasts.
In 1984, he was invited to teach Iranian percussions at the Center for Middle Eastern Music Studies at the Institute of Musicology of Paris- Sorbonne, then under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin. Using this opportunity, he has introduced many western musicians to Iranian music. In 1996, he founded the Ecole de Tombak in Paris (Center for Iranian Percussion Study). Since 1998, he has also been teaching at the Cite de Musique in Paris, France and at the State Academy of Music in Basel, Switzerland (Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel in Switzerland).
Madjid Khaladj constantly investigates the vast possibilities in improvising within the Persian musical system, and beyond. He has developed a distinct approach for innovations in Persian percussion, in both improvisation and accompaniment, whose echoes are present in the work of contemporary percussionists who have embraced it over the past few years.The unequalled beauty of his style, his mastery of rhythms and the brilliance of his spontaneous creations not only place him in the top ranks next to great classical Persian music masters, but also distinguish him as a major figure in world percussion.
“ Madjid Khaladj’s artistic, creative, and technically flawless approach to improvisation and accompaniment of melodic instruments, and in general his overall work in rational development of this art in the last ten years has launched a new school of Iranian percussion which will be certainly recorded in history under his name. This development demands deliberate pondering and reflection. At a time when Persian rhythms had become bounded and composed only within limited frameworks, Madjid Khaladj has become one of the most recognizable figures who, with a novel voice and vigorous search has played a decisive role in extending the boundaries.”
Composer, Master of târ and setâr