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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HarmonyTalk Journal’s Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

On the 10th of Khordad, 1403 (equivalent to May 30, 2024), the twentieth anniversary celebration of the online journal “HarmonyTalk” took place at the Ersbārān Cultural Center. The event garnered such interest from enthusiasts that the venue was completely filled.

A combination of technique and musicality in the fingers of a pianist

In the world of classical music, the position of soloist has always been exceptional. Apart from the technical ability that many orchestral musicians also have, the soloist must also have a special power to be able to present a different and unique perspective of a piece. The soloist must maintain its special power of expression not only in solo roles but also when interacting with the orchestra.

From Past Days…

Polyphony in Iranian Music (V)

In addition to the above-mentioned, polyphony can be also formed when a melody is performed by several singers in different ambiances or different sound registers according to their physiologic abilities. An example of this has been performed in rituals of Khanqah of Ghaderi darawish of Mahabad[i].

Polyphony in Iranian Music (IV)

Two choirs alternatively perform Veŝ Tavaré Na avaz (Transcription 5). The second group starts the avaz before the first group finishes it; consequently, two different voices coincide (Transcription 5, staves 2 and 5).

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.

Ennio Morricone’s music for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight

After watching Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, The Hateful Eight, everyone was excited by its novel music besides the beautiful scenes of blood and guts.
The Hateful Eight is the first collaboration between the world-famous film music composer, Ennio Morricone, and Quentin Tarantino as a famous director.

Motherland Orchestra Broke the Spell of the Covid-19 Restrictions

The Motherland Orchestra staged the first concert since the outbreak of the pandemic under the baton of Nezhat Amiri. The orchestra went on stage on December 23-24, 2021 in memory of Rouhollah Khaleghi and Golnoush Khaleghi at Vahdat Hall, Tehran, Iran. Since the pandemic outbreak, concerts were held online and restrictions were imposed on in-person concerts.

New Technique for Playing Classical Guitar (II)

When the author was working on the piece “Playing Love” by Ennio Morricone (from the legend of 1900), he realized a failure of the Lip Technique. Needing to play a chord in the 14th position of the guitar and in order to complete the harmony, it is necessary to play a harmonic note on the 7th or 5th position; it was not possible to touch the string to play this harmonic note, because the Lip Technique is used for getting the notes and not to touch the string and producing harmonic notes. Naturally, the only possible way to touch the string was to use the nose at the required position and playing the note with the right hand, and this was the best option the author found to how to play such harmonic notes, and where the Nose Technique was generated.

A Look at Ali Tajvidi’s Manifold Musical Activities (I)

Ali Tajvidi (1920 – 2004), one of the most prominent Iranian musicians, passed away sixteen years ago. He was one of the most distinguished Iranian artists. To specify one of the fields in which he was unique, one can refer to Tasnif composition. A brief review of his manifold musical activities is presented below.

Davoud Pirnia (1900 - 1971)

About Davoud Pirnia, the founder of “Golha” radio program

Davoud Pirnia, writer and musicologist was the founder of “Golha” (Flowers of Persian Song and Music) programs on Tehran Radio (1956-1966). He received his early education from his father, Hassan Pirnia (Moshir al-Douleh), and several tutors of the time (Taraghi, interview, July 1989) and continued his studies at Saint Louis School in Tehran and then in Switzerland and graduated in law. While studying law, Pirnia got acquainted with European classical music. Upon returning to Iran, he was employed by the Ministry of Justice and founded the Lawyers’ Guild. Then he was transferred to the Ministry of Finance and established the Department of Statistics in this ministry. Later, he became the head of the state inspection office at the Prime Ministry; he was, then, promoted to the position of the Deputy Prime Minister (Navab Safa, interview, August 1999)

Inefficiency of some chords and harmonization systems in Iranian music

Discussions and research have been conducted on the harmonization of “dastgah” and melodies in Iranian music, and several books have been published on this topic, including “Armenian Music of Iran” by Ali Naghi Vaziri, “Harmony of Iranian Music” by Farhad Fakhreddini, and “Harmony of Iranian Music” by Ali Ghamssari. A master’s thesis titled “Presenting a Solution for Harmonizing Based on the Structure of Tritone Intervals” was written by Atefeh EinAli in 2014. Additionally, the invention and use of “Even Harmony” by Morteza Hannaneh should be mentioned.

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.