Payam Taghadossi: Talented Iranian-Austrian Cellist

Payam Taghadossi (born in 1989) started his musical education at the age of 4 years with Monika Scherbaum in Bregenz (Austria). At the Conservatory Feldkirch he joined the class of Imke Frank and Martin Merker. Later he studied in Zurich (Switzerland) with Thomas Grossenbacher and Christian Proske, where he 2011 graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. Two years later as the student of Rafael Rosenfeld he received his Master of Arts in Music Performance diploma and later graduated as a Master of Arts in spezialized Music Performance in 2016 from the Hochschule für Musik Basel FHNW.

Audio FileWatch Payam playing cello at the age of 18.

The cellist won several awards. (e. g. 1st prize and a special award at the competition of the International Fajr Music Festival (2008), the 2nd Prize at the International Karl Davidov Cello Competition in Latvia. Furthermore he is a 5 times winner of the 1st prize at the austrian national Prima La Musica Competition).

As a soloist he has performed Tschaikovsky`s Rokoko Variations with the Basel Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland, the Schumann Cello and Brahms Double Concerto with the Orchestra of Albstadt in Germany, the Haydn C-Major Cello Concerto with the Ensemble Viatores in Austria, the Beethoven Tripel Concerto with the Orchestra Liechtenstein-Werdenberg and Tschaikovky`s Pezzo Capriccioso with the Philharmonie Budweis.

He received further impetus by attending masterclasses of David Geringas, Ivan Monighetti, Frans Helmerson, Wolfgang Boettcher, Miklos Perenyi, Reinhard Latzko, Jens-Peter Maintz, Wolfgang Emmanuel Schmidt, Valter Despalj and Wenn-Sinn Yang. He received scholarships by the Meadow Mount School of Music (New York), the P.E. Förderkreis (Mannheim, Germany) and the International Richard Wagner Association.

One focus of his musical activities is chamber music. In 2009 he founded, together with Romaine Bolinger and Alexander Boeschoten, the piano trio “Gagliano Trio”. The Trio gave it`s debut in 2009 at the Zurich University of Arts. During its studies the ensemble was decisively influenced by Stephan Goerner (Carmina Quartet), Benjamin Engeli (Tecchler Trio), Eckart Heiligers (Trio Jean Paul), Rafael Rosenfeld (Merel Quartet), Zakhar Bron, Thomas Grossenbacher und Prof. Homero Francesch. The Trio has already been a guest at international concert venues and festivals (e. g. Schubertiade Hohenems (Austria), Kammermusik Basel, Rüttihubeliade). Their repertoire draws a line from the works of the classical period, via the Romantic idea of „poetic music“ to the music of today. Several concerts were recorded by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). Recently the ensemble triumphed at the chamber music competition of the August Pickart foundation. By naming their ensemble Gagliano Trio, the three musicians refer to the neapolitan luthier family, who wrote music history by making stringed instruments in the 18th and 19th century. The violinst Romaine Bolinger plays on an instrument made by Ferdinando Gagliano and Payam Taghadossi plays a cello made by Lorenzo Ventapane, who was a pupil of Nicolo Gagliano.
Payam Taghadossi collected essential orchestral experience as an intern and later substitude at the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and as principal cellist with the Basel Sinfonietta, Bron Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of Liechtenstein before the Basel Symphony Orchestra hired him in 2014. He appeared as a soloist and in various chamber ensembles from North America, Europe and the Middle East, to South Korea and Japan. He currently plays a Lorenzo Ventapane cello from the year 1820.

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Iranian Fallacies – Global Performance

One of the most important criteria for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music is number of times the piece has been performance by different ensembles and orchestras in different eras. This belief has become so pervasive in some societies, such as Iranian society, that it is considered the only criterion for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music.

Iranian Fallacies – School of Vaziri

The term “School of Vaziri” is often used in writings on Iranian music, but the exact meaning of the term is not clear; some of the authors have used the term to only refer to the group of Vaziri’s students, including a large group of his conservatory students and his Tar students such as Abolhassan Saba, Rouhollah Khaleghi, Ahmad Foroutan Rad, Hossein Sanjari, Heshmat Sanjari and others. But can we consider all Vaziri’s students as followers of his school of thought? This is definitely a mistake, because we know that some of Vaziri’s students have chosen a completely different path than that of Vaziri.

From Past Days…

A year without Mohsen Ghanebasiri

The year 1396 (21 March 2017-20 March 2018) was the most sorrowful year for HarmonyTalk journal. One month after holding HarmonyTalk’s 13th establishment anniversary in Mohsen Ghanebasiri’s house in Tehran in April 2017, he untimely passed away. Mohsen Ghanebasiri was the prominent HarmonyTalk author.

A note on “Illusion or Ingenuity” article

The author of the “Illusion or Ingenuity” article, who is apprehensive of the future of the Music in Iran, enumerates some symptoms of the music weakening in the country for example decreasing in the quality of the music as well as lack of the innovation in creating them, a gradual decline in the music public taste and the drop in the application of layered sound and polyphony in music. He explains that one reason for this gradual weakening might be our unawareness of the fact that we are not so intelligent nation. He believes that we, Iranians, have a comprehensive “Illusion of the high national intelligence “that make us ignorant of the unfavorable realities of our music and consequently no searching for the remedy is taking place. His point of view brings to the mind a patient who thinks he is healthy, therefore delays the treatment and finally is killed by the disease. The author also refers to the national difficulties which gradually will lower the national intelligence score such as the increased rate of the immigration and brain drain, low quality of the nutrition, incompetence of the education system and etc and predicts that the condition of the music of Iran might deteriorate in the future because of the mentioned illusion of its great status.

Developments in Iranian Music Since Qajar Era (I)

At the end of the Qajar era and as Iran entered the power transition period, known as the constitutional era, the Iranian music went through a lot of changes. These changes gained momentum as the students and followers of Ali Naqi Vaziri’s entered the musical scene. These changes greatly influenced designs of instruments, playing methods, singing, composing, etc.

Developments in Iranian Music Since Qajar Era (II)

Santour:
Nine-bridge and twelve-bridge Sanours were both used until the early Pahlavi dynasty. However, as Faramarz Payvar devised new methods for playing the nine-bridge Sanour, this variety of the instrument which was hammered by felted sticks became popular.

Harmony in the Iranian Music (II)

One of his works was the translation of Harmony, which was carried out with the help of Mozayyan al-Dowleh, and included a pamphlet based on which he used to teach the subject to the students of the school of music; the pamphlet was never published. It was, in fact, a kind of simple harmony for the piano with no quadriads, it rather featured the engagement of both the right hand and the left hand which was being taught at the music school for the first time. Salar-Mo’azez also composed military marches and hymns for schools, which he harmonized to be performed and piano. Likewise, he used to compose for military orchestras.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (II)

With regard to each polyphonic form, only one specific and distinguished example is analyzed. These polyphonic forms are as follows:

Principles of Playing Violin (IV)

Principles of Playing Violin (IV)

Pattern No.3/1 Left hand finger Placement: 3/1/1: Landing Fingers on one String: In preliminary stages of training, an apprentice should pay attention to the principle of keeping fingers while placing them on the fingerboard. Professional violinists pay less attention to this principle. Novice player’s complying with this principle, in preliminary stages of training, has several…
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Simorgh Criticised

Simorgh (Simorq) Orchestra was founded by the renowned Iranian composer, Hamid Motebassem, in 2011. Simorgh Orchestra is the largest orchestra featuring Iranian national instruments. Although the orchestra established by Master Hossein Dehlavi, the great Iranian composer, in 1993 was larger than Simorgh Orchestra, it only featured the Iranian plucked string instruments unlike the latter one. The first album which was recorded by the Orchestra, conducted under Motebassem’s baton, was his Simorq based on Zal story from Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, the great Iranian poet.

Hossein Dehlavi: the Composer

With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.

Developments in Iranian Music Since Qajar Era (III)

Developments in Composing

Along with developments in the Iranian instruments, composition of the Iranian pieces developed as well. As a matter of fact, the developments of the two, mutually affected each other. In other words, instrumental developments led to developments in composition and vice versa.