Layla Ramezan, Iranian Pianist

Layla-Ramezan

Iranian pianist Layla Ramezan has always sought to create a connection between her Persian origin and the contemporary music which she encounters daily. Sound, phrasing, a particular sense of rhythm and a refined understanding of the “time of musical development” are the foremost qualities of her interpretations. Her musical and pianistic education began in Tehran at the age of 8 with Mostafa-Kamal Poortorab. Having moved to Paris and received a scholarship from Albert Roussel Foundation, she integrated the classes of Jean Micault and Devi Erlih at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where she received a Diplôme de Virtuosité in piano performance and chamber music.

She was later awarded a Diplôme d’Etudes Musicales with distinction, at the Conservatoire National de Saint-Maur des Fossés et de Créteil in France with Jacqueline Bourgès Maunoury and Christophe Bukudjian. Layla went on to gain two Masters, in musical interpretation (concert diploma) and accompaniment, at the Haute Ecole de Musique of Lausanne, Switzerland.

In December 2014, she was invited to give two exceptional recitals in Iran, entitled “100 Years of Iranian Piano Music”. For this event, she has brought together almost twenty Iranian composers from all over the world, mixing styles and generations, and including many young creators from contemporary Iran. She is the President and pianist of Matka Contemporary Ensemble based in Geneva with which she organized several cultural projects between Iran and Switzerland: In 2013, she organized a four-month residency at the Maison Baron in Geneva for Karen Keyhani, following the Matka ensemble’s commission of a work by this young composer. A concert was organised, entitled “A Contemporary Reading of Persian Music” and bringing together Iranian and French composers.

In 2015 she set up a project comprising new works for small ensemble by Iranian, French, Swiss and American composers with collaboration of Center for Iranian music in Pittsburgh-Carnegie Mellon University. These were premiered in February 2015 at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, then in Geneva, Switzerland. She was invited in May 2016 to play as a soloist with the Tehran Symphonic Orchestra, in December 2016 with Tehran New Music Orchestra and in September 2016 as the member of jury of « 10th National Festival of Youth Music » in Tehran. Layla Ramezan performs regularly in live broadcast on RTS Espace 2.

She prepares the recordings of «100 years of Iranian music for piano» in a collection of four CDs with Label Paraty Production, Harmonia Mundi distribution. Iran is a nation whose musical tradition harks back to ancestral times. To this day, traditional music remains extremely important in the country’s culture, alongside different strains of regional folk music. Classical Western music was introduced in the 1900s, mainly through contact with France, and classical Iranian music, despite its recent origin, fascinates by its incredible variety and blending of multiple elements.

The first CD of this collection which will be available on February 2017, is entitled «Composers from the 1950s». The composers on this record, born between 1928 and 1958, perfectly illustrate this specific diversity. Most of them were educated in Europe, mainly in Austria and France, but some also studied in the United States. And, although their musical styles sometimes radically differ from each other, they are all purveyors of a musical tradition which never ceases to reinvent itself.

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“The Art of Silence” Project Will be Released

Shaahin Mohajeri, the award-winning Iranian microtonal compose, has contributed to The Art of Silence is an international project which features unpublished pieces by microtonal composers from Iran, Japan, the United States, and other countries.

Qanun, a feminized instrument?

In the world music culture, there are instruments which were traditionally associated with a certain gender. It remains disputable to what extent these gender-based perceptions have been logical and scientific. For example, as playing wind instruments need more breath strength and the public opinion believe that men have stronger breath compared to women, these instruments are predominantly a male domain. Harp is also considered a female instrument as the public opinion believe that women have finer fingers and can therefore better perform nuances and delicate techniques on the instrument.

From Past Days…

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Principles of Playing Violin (VI)

B. applying force: the force needed for putting finger on finger board is applied through finger tips and using the rest of hand set especially wrist is not allowed. To practice this, it is possible to hold violin without the bow and throw the fingers on the finger board from 1-2cm distance; apply force only through finger tips.

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Iranian Contradictions: Iranian Chords

Finding a way to harmonize the Iranian music has been the subject of controversy among Iranian musicians for a long time. Some believe in the creation of harmonies for Iranian music based on a method which is similar to the tierce harmony; while others have either selected or invented some other methods. There are also some musicians who do not basically agree with the harmonization of the Iranian music.

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A note on “Illusion or Ingenuity” article

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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.

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Ali Rahbari & Recording Iranian Symphonic Compositions

In the few days prior to the New Iranian year (March 2015), the news of the revival of Tehran Symphony Orchestra under Ali (Alexander) Rahbari’s conductorship was announced. Ali Rahbari, who served as assistant to Herbert von Karajan in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at a very young age, was also invited to conduct Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 2005; however, the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government put an end to his collaboration with this Orchestra. Recently, it was announced that Rahbari is invited to conduct an orchestra in the U.S.

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Principles of Playing Violin (V)

3/1/2/5: When the first finger lands next to the nut, continuation of first phalange of this finger, on back of the hand, should be in line with continuation of the back of the wrist and the left hand; moreover, it should not pass them and bend at knuckles. Otherwise, an uncommon stretch is created in first finger’s knuckle also reducing the freedom of other fingers (especially the fourth finger) in finger placement.

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Quality Decline in Regional Music Festivals

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Layla Ramezan, Iranian Pianist

Iranian pianist Layla Ramezan has always sought to create a connection between her Persian origin and the contemporary music which she encounters daily. Sound, phrasing, a particular sense of rhythm and a refined understanding of the “time of musical development” are the foremost qualities of her interpretations. Her musical and pianistic education began in Tehran at the age of 8 with Mostafa-Kamal Poortorab. Having moved to Paris and received a scholarship from Albert Roussel Foundation, she integrated the classes of Jean Micault and Devi Erlih at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where she received a Diplôme de Virtuosité in piano performance and chamber music.

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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.