Art And Culture

Lily Afshar Concert in the US

Lily Afshar  Concert  in the USLily Afshar  Concert  in the US

The renowned classical guitarist Lily Afshar, invited by the Harper College in the US, is set to perform in a concert Thursday, (March 5), at the college Drama Lab Theatre.

Afshar will also conduct a master class, open to all, prior to her concert at the venue of the college in Illinois, Honaronline reported.

Acclaimed as one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists, Afshar is a virtuoso who brings passion to her performance. The Washington Post has described her performances as “remarkable, impeccable.” She is the only classical guitarist in the world who blends excellent formal training in the United States and Europe “with the rich cultural heritage of Persia to bring audiences an extraordinary musical experience.”

Born in Tehran in 1960 to a family with ancient roots in the northern region of Azerbaijan, her prodigious skill and love of music eventually led her to the Boston Conservatory, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music, and to the New England Conservatory, where she received her Master of Music.  Following her studies at Florida State University, she became the first woman in the world to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Music in guitar performance.

Embracing her Persian heritage, Afshar has not only performed her arrangements of Persian and Azerbaijani pieces, but also fascinated concert goers with occasional live performance on the setar, a traditional Persian instrument which evolved over many centuries into the guitar. Her performances always include music that is as rich and beautiful as a Persian miniature or tapestry.

  Notable Awards

In 2000, she won the Orville H. Gibson Award in Los Angeles for Best Female Classical Guitarist.  Her notable awards also include a top prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition and Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, among others.

She is a three-time winner of the annual ‘Premier Guitarist’ awards given by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and was chosen as an ‘Artistic Ambassador’ to Africa for the United States Information Agency.

Afshar’s concert schedule has taken her to solo, chamber music, and orchestral performance venues in the US, Canada, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Jordan, Australia, New Zealand, and her home country Iran, as well as countries in South America and Africa.

Those who appreciate classical guitar can enjoy the music of Lily Afshar on seven CD recordings which have attracted international critical acclaim.

She regularly conducts guitar classes in conjunction with her touring during summers in Iran. In the summer of 2014, she held master classes in different cities including Tehran, Kermanshah, Sari, Tabriz and Isfahan.

She also held a concert at Niavaran Cultural Center in Tehran in August, for two nights, where she played Iranian folk music, especially arranged for guitar and classical pieces by famous musicians like Bach and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Her performances, warmly welcomed by music fans, had special guests from the Spanish embassy.