Art And Culture

National Orchestra Reopens With Conductor Fakhreddini

National Orchestra  Reopens With  Conductor FakhreddiniNational Orchestra  Reopens With  Conductor Fakhreddini

Iran’s National Orchestra resumed rehearsals on Saturday (May 23) after a four-year hiatus, with renowned Iranian composer Farhad Fakhreddini as its conductor once more.

At a press conference on Monday (May 25) Fakhreddini said: “A number of musicians from the former orchestra will cooperate with a group of instrumentalists from the Symphonic Orchestra.” Common instrumentalists between the two great orchestras should not be mistaken to be a merger of the two ensembles. They will work separately, he said, IRNA reported.

Noting that the national orchestra will benefit from the experience and talents of skilled local musicians, Fakhreddini said Keyvan Saket, the renowned tar (Persian traditional instrument) player, had agreed “to join us and traditional singers Salar Aghili and Mohammad Motamedi will accompany as vocalists like before.”

When asked about the presence of traditional singer master Mohammadreza Shajarian in the orchestra, he said, “I have had numerous collaborations with him and I hope for a reunion in the near future.”

The first official performances of the orchestra are slated for June 10-12 in Tehran.

Fakhreddini (born in 1937, Tabriz) founded Iran’s National Orchestra in 1998. The orchestra included Persian traditional string and woodwind instruments. Shajarian performed as the vocalist in a number of concerts. The orchestra, conducted by Fakhreddini performed in different cities in Iran as well in Kuwait, China, and Switzerland.

The conductor who has composed music for several movies and TV series like ‘Sarbedaran’, ‘Imam Ali (AS)’, ‘Once Upon A Time’, and “The English Bag’ has twice won the award for the best score at the Fajr Film Festival.

He was awarded the ‘Order of Merit’, first degree, in arts and culture by the government in June 2005. In July 2008, a stamp was issued in his honor.

However, after conducting the orchestra for 11 years, financial constraints were reportedly the reason to disband the orchestra during the previous government’s tenure.

Under the auspices of the new government, cultural officials made efforts to remove obstacles in the way of reviving the two great orchestras. In the final months of last year (ended March 20) deputy minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Ali Moradkhani promised that the national and symphony orchestras which were suspended four years earlier would resume soon.

 Symphony Orchestra

Also present at the session, Ali Rahbari, conductor of Tehran Symphony Orchestra, said: “It is an honor to see Fakhreddini back to work. I worked with him for many years.”

Rahbari (born in 1948, Tehran) a celebrated composer and conductor, who has worked with more than 120 European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, said he has held talks with the traditional maestro Shahram Nazeri who has agreed to sing for the Symphony Orchestra.

The Tehran Symphony Orchestra, by far the oldest and biggest of several ensembles in Iran, was founded in 1933. In the 1960s and 1970s, it hosted performances by famous musicians including the American violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin.

The orchestra restarted its activities in March.

The task to oversee the two orchestras has been handed over by the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance to Rudaki Foundation, a non-governmental artistic and cultural institution, “to reduce the burden on the ministry’s music office,” Moradkhani had said earlier. However, the music office is still in charge of monitoring all activities related to orchestras.