Ali Kian Yazdanfar

Ali Kian Yazdanfar

Principal Double Bass

Ali Kian Yazdanfar began playing the double bass in second grade at public school. After completing a bachelor’s degree in physics, he returned to his first love, studying double bass at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) with Paul Johnson, and later with Paul Ellison and François Rabbath. His fondest musical memory occurred 2018 when he performed the world premiere of Behzad Ranjbaran’s Concerto for Double Bass. His first appearance with the OSM was in a concert of works by Debussy conducted by Charles Dutoit in his last week as the Orchestra’s Music Director. Ali Kian Yazdanfar is an active chamber musician, member of the OSM Chamber Soloists, and renowned pedagogue. He gives numerous master classes throughout North America and teaches at McGill University.


Joined the OSM in: 2008

Previous positions: Houston Symphony, National Symphony in Washington, San Francisco Symphony

Model of Instrument: James Brown (England), 19th century

Hometown: Wyncote (Pennsylvania)

First musical love: Giovanni Bottesini’s Double Bass Concerto no. 1 in F-sharp minor

Prizes and scholarships: The Kerr Memorial Award for physics and the Louis Sudler Prize for performing arts from Johns Hopkins University. Winner of the 2005 edition of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition

Interests: Science, world history, Persian culture, the outdoors

If you hadn’t chosen to become a musician, you would be …: An astrophysicist or biophysicist