Iranian-American music conductor and composer Shahrdad Rohani directed orchestra in Tehran

Acclaimed music conductor Shahrdad Rohani performed an orchestra for a big audience Friday night at Tehran’s Grand Hall of the Interior Ministry.

Shahrdad Rohani, born May 27, 1954 in Tehran, Iran is an Iranian-American composer, violinist/pianist, and conductor. His style is contemporary and he is well known for composing and conducting classical, instrumental, adult contemporary/new age, film soundtrack as well as pop music.

Early life
His father, Reza Rohani, was an accomplished musician and Shahrdad followed in his father’s footsteps. He started down the path of becoming a musician at the age of five when he learned to play the violin under the instruction of his father.

He was a student to a well-known Persian violinist, Ebrahim Rouhifar. At age 10 he attended the Persian National Music Conservatory of Tehran. He studied with a Swiss teacher named Basil as well as an Armenian teacher named Hagh Nazarian, who taught him to play the piano; they worked together for seven years.

After studying at the Tehran Conservatory, Shahrdad Rohani left his family, many of whom still remain in Iran, and traveled in 1975 to Austria where he attended the Academy and Conservatories of Music in Vienna. Then, in the early 1980’s, he accepted a scholarship to study music at UCLA and moved to the United States.

Musical career
From 1987 until 1991 Mr. Rohani served as the music director and conductor of the COTA symphony orchestra in Los Angeles. He has appeared as a guest conductor with a number of prestigious orchestras including London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and many others.

Shahrdad arranged the music and conducted the orchestra to supplement Yanni’s keyboard compositions during the Yanni Live at the Acropolis concert in 1993, an open-air concert with the London Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the Parthenon, Athens, Greece. Shahrdad also played the violin in all but two of the tracks during this concert. Yanni Live at the Acropolis was acclaimed by both critics and audience and became the most widely viewed program ever shown on Public Television in United States and is the second best-selling music video of all time.

Rohani was commissioned in 1998 by the government of Thailand and the committee of the 13th Asian Games to compose and conduct the music for opening ceremonies. The composition became the most popular song of the Asian Games.

In 1999 Rohani received the Thailand’s Pikanes award, the country’s most prestigious music award for an outstanding orchestral performance. The award is considered the highest artistic achievement.

Sources: Mehr News Agency, wikipedia, IIP Digital | U.S. Department of State

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