Ashkan Layegh (21) was born in Tehran, Iran in 1997. He started learning the piano at the age of 6 in Iran. He attained a high-school degree in Maths, which gained him a place to study Architecture at the University of Tehran in 2016.
Ashkan Layegh won First Prize at the International Barbad Piano Competition, Shiraz, in 2017. Shortly after the competition, the Chair of the Jury, Leyla Ramezan, the Lausanne-based Iranian concert pianist, introduced Ashkan Layegh to the British conductor Mark Stephenson. Subsequently, Ashkan Layegh was invited to perform in a chamber music concert at the Iranian Embassy, Prince’s Gate, London, in April 2017, which was organised by Mark Stephenson (Artistic Director: The Internava Project).
In December 2017, with the encouragement and support of Mark Stephenson, Ashkan Layegh auditioned for both the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music in London. He is the first young musician from Iran since the Revolution to be offered places at both institutions, and he won a full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
In July 2018, Ashkan Layegh performed in The Internava Project (music-makers, noborders) concerts at Vahdat Hall, Tehran, which were organised by Mark Stephenson (Artistic Director of The Internava Project). Since starting his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in September 2018, Ashkan Layegh has been studying the piano with Joanna MacGregor OBE. He has attended master classes with Jean-Marc Luisada, Christopher Elton, Rustem Hayroudinoff, Maria Perrotta and Elizabeth Sombart.
Ashkan Layegh has been awarded a full scholarship to participate in the Oxford Piano Festival in July 2019, where Boris Berezovsky and Menahem Pressler will give master classes.
In addition to his piano studies, Ashkan Layegh is studying composition at the RAM. He is a keen jazz pianist and he also plays the Setar, a traditional Persian Instrument.