AUGUST 4, 2009
Hafez Nazeri Premieres Rumi Symphony Project In L.A. And NYC
Iranian Composer Seeks New Dialogue Between East And Westby Tom Pryor
Iranian composer Hafez Nazeri recently announced the opening of his new project, The "Rumi Symphony Project: Cycle One" this fall. The piece will debut in two parts. In Los Angeles, the performance entitled "Rite of Fall: Mehregan" will be presented at the Pantages Theatre on Saturday, October 3rd. In New York City, the performance entitled "Iranian Sounds of Peace" will be presented at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, November 14th. "Iranian Sounds of Peace" is the first Iranian headlining event at this Carnegie Hall.
The works to be performed are composed by 29-year-old Hafez Nazeri, Iran's most influential young composer and mark a new chapter in integrating Middle Eastern and Western traditions through the music of both cultures. Nazeri describes the concept and philosophy behind this opus as "a musical discourse to promote world peace."
"At a time when all that we hear about Iran is filtered through headlines of intolerance, chaos and violence, it is important to portray a 7,000 year cultural history with its deeply poetic and artistic mystical traditions," explains Nazeri.
Together with his internationally acclaimed father, Shahram Nazeri - dubbed the "Iranian Pavarotti" and the first to set Rumi's poetry to music over 40 years ago - the Nazeri's will continue their legacy of expanding the definition of Persian music with the "Rumi Symphony Project: Cycle One."
Musicians joining Hafez Nazeri ("Hafez" setar/vocals) and Shahram Nazeri (vocals) are: Artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Paul Neubauer, viola; Ida Kavafian, viola and Fred Sherry, cello; in addition to Matt Haimovitz, cello; Tim Cobb, double bass; Hussein Zahawy, percussion and Salar Nader, percussion
Nazeri's music captures and preserves the essence and elemental structures of Persian music, while embracing new ideas developed out of Western Classical music such as orchestration, harmony, rhythmic patterns and melodic forms. The music's broad accessibility opens the cultural dialogue to new listeners worldwide, and matches the transcendent tone of Rumi's Sufi poetry, transposed into the context of a new age.
Not only is Hafez Nazeri the composer of the work but he will also sing and play the new instrument he has created based on the traditional setar. The instrument is named "Hafez," referring to the composer and his namesake, the great 13th century mystic poet. The "Hafez" extends the range of the setar by incorporating two additional low strings to craft greater melodic and harmonic range - making it the first new Iranian instrument developed in modern times.