He was born in Esfahan (Iran's art capital) in 1928. He was four years old when he Entered the mysterious world of music by way of vocalizing. At the age of twelve he started playing the ney and learning its playing techniques in the prosenee of
Mehdi Navai. Later he learned the basies and fundamentals of music and playing on instruments in the presence of Abolhassan Saba.
Hassan was fifteen when he performed his first programe on Radio Iran. Due to his innate genious and sustained efforts he became able to fully revolutionize playing on this plain and simple instrument and gave it an unimaginable capacity. In the year 1950 he took the ney to the orchestra and gave it a lofty place among other Iranian and non Iranian instruments.
Hassan Kassai's compositions and performances are some of the most outstanding tunes and melodies of Iranian music, and undoubtedly he should be considered the most distinguished ney player of the contemporary world. His world wide tame increased with the circulation of a gramophone disc by C.B.S. of France in 1975 and the publications of some of his performances by Unesco. But become of the unappreciation of musicians and anti-music tendencies Kassai was pushed to silence in the golden years of his life, and so he chose solitude.
He, whose art enjoys a spiritual and popular status, broke his heavy and philosophical silence from 1999 and created Naluable and ever lasting works for the people of his land, Iran.
Now lets read the opinions of some prominent musicians about him and his works.
Benny carter (the king of jazz music):
I never imagined that the musical techniques had advanced so much in the East and such a great player existed in this part of the world. (Kayhan news paper, 1975).
Habil Aliev (the skillful kamancheh player):
maestro Hassan Kassai is the one person who has fasinated every listener by his art and has established eastern music all over the world. (,1992).
Ray coder (the famous American guitarist and composer):
If there were only a few creditable and reputable music players in the world Kassai is certainly one of these few. (Washington Iranian's Newospaper, 1997).