Tag Archives: Classical Music

The World Youth Orchestra to perform in Iran (Photos)

The World Youth Orchestra arrived in Tehran on Monday and has already had its first joint rehearsal with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday under the leadership of its Italian conductor Damiano Giuranna. Both orchestras will perform together from August 10th to 12th at Vahdat Hall (Roudaki Hall) and will be conducted by Giuranna, Loris Tjeknavorian and Nasir Heidarian.

The World Youth Orchestra, based in Italy, consists of young musicians from 10 different countries, including Armenia, Portugal, Germany and Canada. The guests are also scheduled to hold several master classes and workshops during their stay in Iran.

Seventy-five young musicians from the five continents founded the World Youth Orchestra in Rome in 2001 just four days after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. The World Youth Orchestra has been nominated Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF Italia; it has been awarded a Silver Medal and a Silver Plaque for cultural and social merits by the President of the Italian Republic.

Photos: The World Youth Orchestra and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra rehearsing in Iran under Italian conductor Damiano Giuranna

French orchestra touring in Iran

The Orchestre de l’Alliance, under the baton of Pejman Memarzadeh, performed at Vahdat Hall in Tehran earlier this week. Other performances are scheduled in the Iranian cities of Isfahan, Kerman and Shiraz.

In 1995 Pejman Memarzadeh, conductor and cellist of Iranian origin, founded the Association Les Musiciens de la Prée, with the aim of proposing a humanistic and innovative approach to classical music. In 2000 it became the Orchestre de l’Alliance.

All music related posts on the blog: https://theotheriran.com/tag/music/

Sources: Tavoos Online, Wikipedia | Orchestre de l’Alliance, Fars News, Honar Online

China Philarmonic Orchestra performed together with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in Iran (Photos)

Iranian-Austrian conductor Alexander Rahbari conducted the Teheran Symphony Orchestra as it played Scheherazade by Rimski-Korsakov and Yu Long conducted the China Philharmonic playing the New World Symphony by Dvorak.

In preparation for the joint concert, Rahbari was in Beijing rehearsing with the China Philharmonic. “It’s a very nice orchestra,” he says. “I hadn’t been to Beijing before, but I am familiar with Chinese musicians and the way Chinese think. Over the past 40 years I’ve conducted a lot of orchestras with Chinese musicians.

“It took us just an hour and 40 minutes to finish rehearsals on the first day. This is a well disciplined orchestra. Good orchestras have similar qualities. When they get down to work, they’re not Chinese or Iranian or German; they’re all musicians.

Rahbari’s positive feelings about the orchestra seem to have been reciprocal. Zhao Yunpeng, the first cello, says: “He’s charismatic and he’s got very sharp ear. He seems to be able to pinpoint problems very quickly. […] We knew little about him before but the rehearsals have been terrific.”

The China Philharmonic Orchestra’s two-night appearance in Teheran is the fourth stop on a 14-day tour taking in five countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and  Greece) on the Silk Road.

About Alexander Rahbari and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra
Rahbari first conducted the Teheran Symphony Orchestra about 40 years ago, before the Islamic revolution, when the orchestra was in its heyday and hosted the likes of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the choreographer Maurice Bejart.

Rahbari left Iran in 1976 and did not return for another 30 years. In 2005 he was invited to rebuild the Teheran Symphony Orchestra but turned down the offer on political grounds. But eight years later, when Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran’s president, he promised to revive the 80-year-old orchestra and invited Rahbari back.

Sources: China Daily | Musical diplomacy’s perfect harmony, Honar Online | Photos 1, Mehr News Agency | Photos 1, Mehr News Agency | Photos 2, Honar Online | Photos 2, ISNA | Photos

Photos: Rehearsal of Tehran’s Symphony Orchestra

“I walked on to the stage and the audience rose to its feet,” said Alexander Rahbari, the principal conductor. “I’ve performed for 40 years outside Iran and never seen a standing ovation before the performance. This was something totally different. It showed what having the orchestra back meant to them. I was close to tears.”

The photos were taken during rehearsals at Vahdat Hall, Tehran, before performing for the first time after three years.

Related article:
The Guardian | Tehran’s reborn symphony orchestra: an ovation before playing a note

Sources: Honaronline | Photos, musicboard.ir | News (in Persian)

A possible revival of Tehran’s and Iran’s National Symphony Orchestras


WASHINGTON — Alexander Rahbari fondly recalls his last stint conducting the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. It was the fall of 2005, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was on the card, and the Iranian capital’s Vahdat Hall was packed.

“I conducted Beethoven’s Ninth in Tehran for seven nights. If I said I conducted the Ninth for seven nights in New York or Austria, I would be asked if there was anyone in the audience — after two nights the hall would be empty,” Rahbari said.

“But [in Tehran] it was full — so many people came. Later some newspapers complained that, after returning to Iran after so many years, I conducted the symphony for only seven nights.” […]

In 2012, the funding problems that Rahbari and his successors complained about silenced the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, whose roots dating back to the 1930s made it one of the oldest in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Iran’s National Orchestra, founded by Iranian-born composer and conductor Farhad Fakhreddini in 1998, suffered similar difficulties. Fakhreddini himself resigned in 1999, and the orchestra that performed only classical Iranian music dissolved in October 2012. […]

The election of President Hassan Rohani in 2013 has provided a glimmer of hope for the country’s orchestra scene, however.

“I’m very sorry that the [Tehran] Symphony Orchestra and the National Orchestra have been shut down,” Rohani said in a January 8 speech to artists and cultural figures. “This government will revive them in the coming months.” […]

Iran’s culture minister, Ali Jannati, added to the optimism when he said at the Fajr International Music Festival last week that the government aims to strengthen Music.