Art And Culture

Sounds of Tradition Echo in Tehran

Sounds of Tradition Echo in TehranSounds of Tradition Echo in Tehran

After a superb start last week, the 15th Tehran Music Festival was followed by six days of concerts from well-known musicians, singers and ensembles before coming to a conclusion Monday night.

The festival formerly known as Music Forum Festival was launched with a performance by Hossein Alizadeh and his ensemble 'Ham-Avayan', IRNA reported. It treated traditional music fans to a scintillating performance. The group was greeted with a long standing ovation.

A leading traditional composer and musician, Alizadeh is a professional tar and setar (traditional Iranian instruments) player. He has made numerous recordings with prominent musicians including two great Persian vocalists, Mohamad-Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri. He was also nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award along with Armenian musician, Djivan Gasparyan, for their collaboration album, 'The Endless Vision'.

Vocalist Mohamad Mo'tamedi, who sang poems from Iranian great poets Saadi, Mawlana, Baba-Tahir, and Nima Yushij, impressed the audience with his sonorous voice.

'The Kamkars' ensemble performed on the second night. Bijan Kamkar, vocalist and daf player was warmly welcomed. The concert included two parts: in the first they played and sang four Persian songs. After a 15-minute break, the group re-entered wearing colorful Kurdish clothes, to viewers' applause and cheers. Seven Kurdish songs were rendered. The group had to return to perform again due to the encores.

'The Kamkars' is a Kurdish family of seven brothers and a sister, all from the city of Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Province. They are one of the leading musical ensembles in Iran today.

Fusion Style

The stage on the third night was host to the Pallett group. They follow Iranian fusion style and their album 'Mr. Violet' was a successful hit. The instruments they use are clarinet, accordion, guitar, cello; they also make use of classic poems. 

'Shams' ensemble led by Keikhosrow Pournazeri gave a pleasant performance on the fourth night of the festival. First, Tahmoures and Sohrab, the group leader's sons, rendered a very beautiful tanbur duet. With other members of the group joining them, the ensemble sang other songs. The most memorable piece was 'Men of God' which brought good old memories back to the listeners. On audience request, the piece was performed later again in the program.

Founded in 1977 by the veteran musician Keikhosrow Pournazeri, Shams ensemble is one of the first groups to perform the mystic dervish music featuring tanbur. Their music has accompanied the voices of many renowned Iranian vocalists such as Shahram Nazeri and Bijan Kamkar.

Velvet Voice

On the fifth night, music fans listened to Homayun Shajarian's velvet voice. Pournazeri brothers, Sohrab and Tahmoures, accompanied him on their tanbur. The program ended with the beautiful song 'Why Did You Go?' a poem from the late Simin Behbahani, which drew enthusiastic applause. 

Homayun, son of the grandmaster of Persian music, Mohammad-Reza Shajarian is a renowned traditional music vocalist, as well as a Tombak and Kamancheh (Persian instruments) player.

The last performance was dedicated to Alireza Ghorbani singing along with Eshtiagh ensemble. The finale was a surprise, as Ghorbani sang 'Oh Iran' (Ey Iran) which made the audience stand up to honor their Motherland. "Long live Iran!" echoed the hall.  

Ghorbani is a traditional vocalist. Since 1999, he is with Iran's National Orchestra and has joined many concerts and festivals within and outside the country.

The ancient Masoudieh edifice located in Baharestan Square in Tehran played host to this year's edition of the festival.