Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Mohammad Reza Shajarian

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Mohammad-Reza Shajarian (born September 23, 1940 in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

) is an internationally and critically acclaimed Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 traditional singer, composer and ostad (master) of Persian music. He has been called "Iran's greatest living master of traditional Persian music." Shajarian is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy
Persian calligraphy
Persian Calligraphy is the calligraphy of Persian writing system. It has been one of the most revered arts throughout Persian history. It is considered to be one of the most eye catching and fascinating manifestations of Persian culture.-History:...

, and humanitarian activities.

Shajarian has collaborated with Parviz Meshkatian
Parviz Meshkatian
Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh
Hossein Alizadeh
Hossein Alizadeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician....

, and Faramarz Payvar
Faramarz Payvar
Master Farāmarz Pāyvar was an Iranian composer and santur player. Payvar died on December 9, 2009 after a long struggle with brain damage.-Works:...

. He is recognised as skilled singer in the challenging traditional Dastgah
Dastgah
Dastgāh is a musical modal system in traditional Persian art music. Persian art music consists of twelve principal musical modal systems or dastgāhs; in spite of 50 or more extant dastgāhs, theorists generally refer to a set of twelve principal ones...

 style. In 1999 UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in France presented him with the Picasso Award and in 2006 with the UNESCO Mozart Medal
UNESCO Mozart Medal
The UNESCO Mozart Medal is an award named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and administered by UNESCO.-Recipients:* Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, 1991* Alicia Terzian, 1995* Elfi von Dassanowsky, 1996...

.

Early work


Shajarian studied singing at the early age of five under the supervision of his father, and at the age of twelve, he began studying the traditional classical repertoire known as the Radif. Shajarian started his singing career in 1959 at Radio Khorasan, rising to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing. Since then his career has included teaching at Tehran University's Department of Fine Arts, working at National Radio and Television, researching Iranian music, and making numerous recordings.

Music groups


Shajarian has not always been in music groups, but he currently does the vocals for the Masters of Persian Music with his son Homayoun Shajarian
Homayoun Shajarian
Homayoun Shajarian is a renowned Persian classical music vocalist, as well as a Tombak and Kamancheh player.- Biography :...

, as well as two other ostads, Kayhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor , born 24 November 1963, is an Iranian kamancheh player, composer and master of classical Kurdish and Persian music.-Youth and studies:...

 and Hossein Alizadeh
Hossein Alizadeh
Hossein Alizadeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician....

. He also performs with his daughter Mozhgan Shajarian.

In 2008, he toured the world with the Ava Ensemble, composed of his son Homayoun (tombak and vocals), Hossein Behroozinia
Hossein Behroozinia
Hossein Behroozinia is a renowned Iranian barbat and oud player.He studied oud, playing under the supervision of Mansour Nariman...

 (barbat
Barbat (lute)
The barbat or barbud is a lute of ancient Persian origin. The Arabic Oud is derived from an ancient Persian barbat. Today's barbat, however, is essentially the same thing as today's oud: the instrument is often called the barbat when played in a Persian tradition, while called the oud when played...

), Majid Derakhshani
Majid Derakhshani
Majid Derakhshani is an acclaimed Iranian musician.He was born into a family of artists from the Iranian province Semnan. During his studies of string instruments and composition at the University of Tehran, the legendary Mohammad Reza Lotfi became his teacher.Subsequent to his emigration to...

 (tar
Tar (lute)
The tār is a long-necked, waisted Iranian instrument. It has been adopted by other cultures and Azerbaijan. The word tar itself means "string" in Persian, though it might have the same meaning in languages influenced by Persian or any other branches of Iranian languages like Kurdish...

), Hossain Rezaeenia (daf
Daf
A daf is a frame drum used as a musical instrument in popular and classical music. The term daf is used in Iran / Kurdistan for a large drum that has a series of four interlinked rings in the frame. Daf is mostly used in Middle East, Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and ...

), and Saeed Farajpouri
Saeed Farajpouri
Saeed Farajpouri is an Iranian kamancheh player of Kurdish descent. He is also a prolific Persian music composer and a lecturer at School of Music, Tehran University....

 (kamanche).

Significant Works



  • Raast-Panjgaah concert with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Raast-panjgaah (1976).
  • Be yaad e Aaref with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Bayaat e Turk (1986).
  • Sepideh Album with Mohammad Reza Lotfi and the Sheydaa Ensemble in Maahoor.
  • Bidaad with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and the Aref Ensemble
    Aref Ensemble
    The Aref Ensemble was a Persian classical music ensemble. It was founded by maestro Parviz Meshkatian, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Lotfi in 1977. The group was named after Aref Ghazvini, the 18th century Iranian poet and composer. Aref was dedicated to the promotion and advancement of...

     in Homaayoun (1985).
  • Aastaan e Jaanaan with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and Naaser Farhangfar in Sur (1982).
  • Nava - Morakkab Khani with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and the Aref Ensemble
    Aref Ensemble
    The Aref Ensemble was a Persian classical music ensemble. It was founded by maestro Parviz Meshkatian, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Lotfi in 1977. The group was named after Aref Ghazvini, the 18th century Iranian poet and composer. Aref was dedicated to the promotion and advancement of...

     in Navaa, Se-gaah and Dashti (1986).
  • Dastan with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and the Aref Ensemble
    Aref Ensemble
    The Aref Ensemble was a Persian classical music ensemble. It was founded by maestro Parviz Meshkatian, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Lotfi in 1977. The group was named after Aref Ghazvini, the 18th century Iranian poet and composer. Aref was dedicated to the promotion and advancement of...

     in Chahaar-Gah (1987).
  • Dastgah Chahargah (live version of Dastan) concert with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and the Aref Ensemble
    Aref Ensemble
    The Aref Ensemble was a Persian classical music ensemble. It was founded by maestro Parviz Meshkatian, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Lotfi in 1977. The group was named after Aref Ghazvini, the 18th century Iranian poet and composer. Aref was dedicated to the promotion and advancement of...

     recorded live in Bonn (1987)
  • Cheshmeye Noush with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Raast-panjgaah.
  • Shab, Sokoot, Kavir with Keyhan Kalhor based on the folk music of Khorasan
    Greater Khorasan
    Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

     (2000).
  • Without you
    Without You
    "Without You" is a song written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of British rock group Badfinger, and first released on their 1970 album No Dice. The song has been recorded by over 180 artists, and versions released as singles by Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey became international best-sellers...

    with the Masters Ensemble in Navaa and Bayaat e Kord (2002).
  • Faryaad with the Masters Ensemble in Raast-panjgaah (2003).
  • Eshgh Daanad with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Aboo Ataa (1981).
  • Chehre be Chehre with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Navaa (1977).
  • Serr-e-Eshgh with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and Mohammad Mousavi
    Mohammad Mousavi
    Mohammad Mousavi is an Iranian musician noted for his ney work.Born in Ahvaz, south of Iran, he studied ney initially with Hassan Kassai. In 1966, he started performing for Iranian national radio programs.-External links:* ....

     in Maahoor.
  • Doud-e-Oud with Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     and the Tehran Symphonic Orchestra in Navaa (1987).
  • Zemestaan Ast with Hossein Alizadeh
    Hossein Alizadeh
    Hossein Alizadeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician....

     and Keyhan Kalhor in Maahoor and Homaayoun (1999).
  • Dar Khiaal with Majid Derakhshani
    Majid Derakhshani
    Majid Derakhshani is an acclaimed Iranian musician.He was born into a family of artists from the Iranian province Semnan. During his studies of string instruments and composition at the University of Tehran, the legendary Mohammad Reza Lotfi became his teacher.Subsequent to his emigration to...

     in Segaah (1995).
  • Night Silence Desert, with Kayhan Kalhor
    Kayhan Kalhor
    Kayhan Kalhor , born 24 November 1963, is an Iranian kamancheh player, composer and master of classical Kurdish and Persian music.-Youth and studies:...

    . Traditional Crossroads
    Harold Hagopian
    Harold Hagopian is an American violinist, entrepreneur, record producer and founder of Traditional Crossroads world music record label.- Biography :...

    , 2000

Masters


Shajarian studied with Esmaeil Mehrtash, Ahmad Ebadi
Ahmad Ebadi
Ahmad Ebādi was an Iranian musician and setar player. Born in Tehran, he was a member of the most extraordinary family of Iranian music. Ahmad's father, Mirza Abdollah, is arguably the most influential figure in Persian traditional music, and his paternal uncle, Mirza Hossein Gholi, is also...

, and Nour-Ali Boroumand and learned the vocal styles of previous generations of singers such as Seyed Hossein Taherzadeh, Reza Gholi Mirza Zelli, Ghamar Molouk Vaziri
Qamar ol-Molouk Vaziri
Qamar ol-Molouk Vaziri is Iran's "Queen of Persian Music" and a prominent vocalist and intellectual....

, Eghbal Azar , and Taj Isfahani. He started playing the santour under the instruction of Jalal Akhbari in order to better understand and perform the traditional repertoire. In 1971, he was introduced to Faramarz Payvar
Faramarz Payvar
Master Farāmarz Pāyvar was an Iranian composer and santur player. Payvar died on December 9, 2009 after a long struggle with brain damage.-Works:...

 and took santour lessons with him. Shajarian also learned Abolhasan Saba
Abolhasan Saba
Abol Hasan Sabā , was a renowned Iranian musician, composer, violinist, and setar player.-Biography:He was born in Tehran to Abul Qasim Khan Kamal ol-Saltaneh, son of Mohammad Jafar Khan Sadr ol-Hekma, son of Mahmud Khan Kashi Malak ol-Shoara Sadr ol-Shoara Saba ol-Shoara, son of Mohammad Hossain...

's vocal radif from Payvar. He also studied under the guidance of master Abdollah Davami
Abdollah Davami
Abdollah Davami was an Iranian musician and singer of traditional Iranian music.-References:*Haghighat, A., Honarmandan e Irani az Aghaz ta Emrooz, Koomesh Publication, 2004,...

, from whom he learned many early Persian songs. Abdollah Davami
Abdollah Davami
Abdollah Davami was an Iranian musician and singer of traditional Iranian music.-References:*Haghighat, A., Honarmandan e Irani az Aghaz ta Emrooz, Koomesh Publication, 2004,...

 also passed on to Shajarian his own interpretation of the Radif.

Bam Art Garden project


After the 2003 Bam earthquake
2003 Bam earthquake
The 2003 Bam earthquake was a major earthquake that struck Bam and the surroundingKerman province of southeastern Iran at 1:56 AM UTC on Friday, December 26, 2003. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 6.6; estimated by the United...

, Shajarian initiated a project to help the people of Bam. He also performed concerts in support of people of Bam.

2009 election protest


Shajarian has indicated support for Iranians protesting
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

 against the 12 June 2009 Iranian presidential election results
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

. When Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to the protesters
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

 as "dust and trash", Shajarian told a BBC BBC Persian
BBC Persian
BBC Persian is the Persian language radio station and TV operated by the BBC which conveys the latest political, social, economical and sport news relevant to Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, and the world. Its headquarters are in London, United Kingdom...

 channel telephone interviewer that he (Shajarian) considered himself the voice of dust and trash: "It is the voice of dust and trash and it will always remain the voice of dust and trash." He also asked IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) to stop broadcasting his songs. He mentioned that his famous song "Iran, Ey Saraye Omid" (Iran, the land of Hope), has no relation with the current situation of his country.

Lyrics of his song "Language of Fire," issued in September 2009, — "Lay down your gun, Come, sit down, talk, hear. Perhaps the light of humanity will get through to your heart too" —
are thought by some observers to speak "directly to the plainclothes Basiji militiamen and security forces" who beat protesters during recent unrest.

Awards and distinctions

  • One of NPR
    NPR
    NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

    's 50 great voices. (2010)
  • Nushin medal (2008)
  • The UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

     award - the UNESCO Mozart Medal
    UNESCO Mozart Medal
    The UNESCO Mozart Medal is an award named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and administered by UNESCO.-Recipients:* Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, 1991* Alicia Terzian, 1995* Elfi von Dassanowsky, 1996...

     (2006)
  • Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2006)
  • Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2004)
  • Iran’s best classical vocalist (2000)
  • Golden Picasso Medal (1999), one of UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

    's highest honors
  • National radio and television golden cup (1977)
  • Prize presented by Turkish
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     parliament speaker (1976)

Notable students

  • Hamid Reza Noorbakhsh
    Hamid Reza Noorbakhsh
    Hamid Reza Noorbakhsh is a Persian classical vocalist and musician.He studied Iranian classical music under the supervision of Mohammad Reza Shajarian and has performed with several music ensembles, including the Shams Ensemble and the Aref Ensemble, as well as with the Ukraine Philharmonic...

  • Homayoun Shajarian
    Homayoun Shajarian
    Homayoun Shajarian is a renowned Persian classical music vocalist, as well as a Tombak and Kamancheh player.- Biography :...

  • Iraj Bastami
    Iraj Bastami
    Iraj Bastami was a Persian classical musician and vocalist. Bastami died on December 26, 2003 in the Bam earthquake.Some of his known works are:*Vatan-e Man*Moseme Gol*Raghse Ashofteh*Fasaneh-References:...

  • Mojgan Shajarian
  • Shahram Nazeri

See also

  • National Iranian Symphony Orchestra
  • Music of Iran
    Music of Iran
    The music of Iran has thousands of years of history, as seen in the archeological documents of Elam, one of the earliest world cultures,which was located in southwestern Iran...

  • List of Iranian musicians

Sources

  • Laudan Nooshin, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie, second edition (Macmillan, London, 2001). ISBN 1-56159-239-0. (Oxford University Press, 2001). ISBN 0-19-517067-9.

External links