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Leaf Music and Infusion Baroque Present: East is East

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgement Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, through they come from the ends of the earth!

– Rudyard Kipling, The Ballad of East and West (1889)

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and Canadian Baroque ensemble Infusion Baroque announce the launch of East is East (LM276), available March 15 in both digital and physical copies. East is East is a transcultural collaboration drawing on both ancient and contemporary inspiration from the East and the West. Offering a fresh approach to music on Baroque instruments and historical performance practice, this new recording is sure to delight fans of early music and Hindustani, Turkish and Persian traditions. Joining the quartet ensemble are guest musicians Amir Amiri (santur and composer), Vidita Kanniks (vocals), Thibault Bertin-Maghit (double bass), Hamin Honari (tombak and daf), Hank Knox (harpsichord), and Shawn Mativetsky (tabla).

Infusion Baroque ( draws new audiences to early music through a truly captivating concert experience, deftly combining seasoned musicianship with storytelling elements. Playing music of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries on historical instruments, the four women of Infusion Baroque enthrall audiences across North America with their creative and interactive programming. Founded in 2013, Infusion Baroque won the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the Early Music America’s Baroque Performance Competition in 2014. Since then, they have performed extensively in North America with series such as the Montreal Baroque Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Stratford Summer Music, Early Music Now (Milwaukee), San Francisco Early Music Society, Indianapolis Early Music, Houston Early Music, and the Gotham Early Music Scene in New York City.  

Their performances have been described as “dynamic and alive” (Early Music America) with “polish, energy, and finely honed style … merrily breaking established traditions” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Their research and creative programs focus not only on important figures of the past, but also relatively unknown composers and musicians. They have released three albums with the Leaf Music; their second album, Kreüsser, features world-premiere recordings of Georg Anton Kreüsser’s Op. 10 quintets and was nominated for a Prix Opus Album of the Year.  Since 2017, one of their main initiatives has been The Virtuosa Project, a series of concerts, lectures, videos, and recordings highlighting historical female musicians. Their third album, Virtuosa, consisted of works composed or performed by women from the seventeenth to twenty-first centuries, and reached over 500K streams within the first six months of release.  

The album was recorded in April of 2023 at Studios Piccolo in Montreal, produced by Jeremy Van Slyke with recording by Veronica Galicia Lopez and editing and mixing by Nathan Cann.

We acknowledge the support of FACTOR and the Canada Council for the Arts with this project.

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, making and distributing high-quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from across Canada. Our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral, and chamber music is distributed by Naxos of America to the world’s most important music retailers, download providers, and streaming services. Leaf is also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.



For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt, (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).

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Leaf Music, Frédéric Lambert, and Ali Kian Yazdanfar Present: “Iridescence”


Frédéric Lambert and Ali Kian Yazdanfar are thrilled to present Iridescence, their first record on Leaf Music set to be released on June 23, 2023. Recorded at Le Domaine forget de Charlevoix in Saint-Irénée, Québec, Iridescence is an opportunity to not only consider colours and details often hidden from view, but also to imagine how a change in perspective can lead to striking flashes of brilliance. Opening a window onto a world of prismatic possibility and potential, violist Frédéric Lambert and double bassist Ali Kian Yazdanfar lead the listener through five works that extend across genre and form, creating a listening experience that is as varied as it is reflective.  

The first piece, “Fisherstreet Duo”, was written by Evan Chambers as an homage to the tiny village of Doolin, Ireland, which is now a hub for lovers of traditional music from all over the world. “Thème varié” (1976), by Jean Françaix, is a virtuosic showpiece, intended to display the full tonal and technical range of the double bass. “Duo for Viola and Double Bass” (2010), by Gareth Wood introduces a personal dimension to the album. The piece was written expressly for Ali Kian Yazdanfar, and is intended as an arena in which the two performers can demonstrate their chemistry together. In manus tuas is based on a sixteenth-century motet by Thomas Tallis. While there are only a few slices of the piece that reflect exact harmonic changes in Tallis’s setting, the motion (or lack thereof) is intended to capture the sensation of a single moment of hearing the motet in the particular and remarkable space of Christ Church in New Haven, Connecticut. The final piece, Escenas del Sur (2008), by Efraín Oscher, is a tribute to the survivors of the dictators that ruled over 1960s South America. 

Speaking on the inspiration for the album, the duo says, “Iridescence is a chance for the public to consider the viola and double bass in a new light.  The rich and textured sound of each of these two instruments is perfectly suited to each other, and the character and sonority give a different perspective which colours the emotions evoked in the listener.” 

“As Iridescence exhibits a large range of contrasts – drama and lightheartedness, tension and bliss, tradition and modernity, we believe the unique choice of pieces holds a special relevance to the listeners of today. Our goal has always been that Iridescence might enrich the lives of those listening.  Whether through the hint of new perspectives and possibilities, a reminder of previous times, or just a thorough appreciation of the present, we hope this recording can foster a greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and the world around us.” 

One of the most prominent double bassists of his generation, Ali Kian Yazdanfar maintains an active career not only as principal double bass of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, but also as a soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Although he started playing the bass at seven years old, he didn’t take the usual music-school route to becoming a professional. In fact, his science and mathematics background led to a physics degree from Johns Hopkins University, and, directly upon graduating, he won his first audition to become a member of the Houston Symphony. He went on to win his next three auditions, for the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., for principal bass with the San Francisco Symphony, and for principal bass with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, where he currently plays. 

Taking inspiration from his Iranian roots, he has commissioned and performed many new works for solo double bass. Recent highlights include the world premiere in 2018 of a new bass concerto by Behzad Ranjbaran, as well as a 2023 program centred around three new works for double bass and piano by Iranian composers that explore the complex experiences of those with roots in multiple cultures. 

Ali is also an associate professor at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, and his former students hold posts in major orchestras of Canada, the United States, and Europe. He also presents master classes during the summer at Orford Music in the Eastern Townships, Quebec. In addition, he regularly appears at or has been on the faculty of festivals such as the National Orchestral Institute, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYOUSA), Le Domaine Forget, the Chautauqua Institute, and Bass Club (England). He is often invited to give master classes worldwide; some appearances include the Juilliard School, the New World Symphony, the Manhattan School of Music, the Curtis Institute, the Sydney Conservatorium, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the University of Southern California, the Peabody Institute, and Bass Europe congresses in Prague and Copenhagen. 

Frédéric Lambert has a doctorate in viola performance from McGill University, where his advisor was André Roy. His further development as a performer led him to play for masters such as Robert Vernon, James Dunham, Steven Dann, Bruno Pasquier, Régis Pasquier, and Ani Kavafian. He is regularly invited to join eminent ensembles such as Les Violons du Roy, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Frédéric is a founding member of the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Quartet. In 2005, the quartet triumphed at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, winning not only the Gold Medal in the Senior String Division, but also the Grand Prize. The quartet then played several concerts in France, England, Italy, the United States, Australia, and Canada. 

Mr. Lambert joined the Molinari Quartet in 2007. The quartet has given itself the mandate to perform twentieth- and twenty-first-century repertoire for string quartet; to commission new works; and to initiate discussions between musicians, artists, and the public. A recipient of twenty-four Opus Prizes awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique for musical excellence on the Quebec concert stage, the Molinari Quartet has been described by the critics as an “essential” and “prodigious” ensemble and even “Canada’s answer to the Kronos or Arditti Quartet.” The Molinari Quartet has established itself as one of Canada’s leading string quartets. Its recordings on the ATMA Classique label have received unanimous international critical acclaim, including being selected two times as Editors’ Choice in Gramophone magazine and rave reviews in The Strad, Fanfare, and Diapason, among others. Its recording of the complete György Kurtág quartets received a Diapason d’or in December 2016 and a prestigious Echo Klassik award in July 2017. 

Frédéric is passionate about teaching. He is a lecturer for the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and teaches violin and viola at Université du Québec à Montréal. For more than a decade, he was a cultural columnist for Ici Radio-Canada Première, along with Catherine Perrin and Stéphan Bureau. In January 2022, he launched his podcast, La prescription avec Dr Fred Lambert, a weekly cultural program that is available on all platforms. Frédéric Lambert is the principal violist in the Orchestre Symphonique de Laval. 


Frédéric Lambert and Ali Kian Yazdanfar 

Release Date: June 23, 2023 

Physical/Digital Release 

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Brown |