Born in Tehran in 1976, Kiya Tabassian received his initial training in Persian music from Mehrdad Torabi at the Bahârlou Institute in Tehran, from Reza Ghassemi in Paris, and Kayhan Kalhor in Montreal. He has since continued to develop his instrumental skills independently. He has also studied composition at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay and Michel Gonneville. He has taken advanced tuition in classical Persian music with Dariush Talai.
In 1989, he founded the Tahmassebi Ensemble, which he directed for two years and for which he contributed several compositions. He is the co-founder of Constantinople, CodexQuartet and Radical 3, ensembles that have performed in a number of Canadian cities. In addition, he performs regularly throughout the U.S., France, Greece, and Mexico, both as a soloist and with other musicians.
In 2000, he was composer in residence for Musique Multi Montréal with a project entitled \0x2522Poussières d'étoiles.\0x2522 Along with his brother Ziya, he recorded a first CD of Persian classical music entitled \0x2522Garden of the Memory\0x2522 and three CDs with Constantinople on the ATMA label.
He is active in the MediMuses project as a member of the research group on the history of Mediterranean music. Kiya is a member of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.