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.

The Motherland Orchestra performed a full-capacity concert which was warmly welcomed by the audience. Observing the Covid-19 protocols and with the collaboration of four soloists, the orchestra performed pieces by Rouhollah Khaleghi, Morteza Mahjoubi, Golnoush Khaleghi, Tofiq Alief, Mehrdad Delnavazi and Behzad Abdi.

The concert project manager was Sadjad Pourghannad, while Ebrahim Ghaedi was the Motherland Orchestra manager and Boroumand Haghighi was the producer and financial manager. The concert singer was Zadbeh (Ghaffar Zabeh) and soloists were Seda Sodeifi: Qanoon, Maryam Khodabakhsh: Oud, Ali Najafi Maleki: Ney and Shima Shahmohammadi: Qeychak. Nezhat Amiri who conducted the orchestra is the first Iranian woman to conduct a state-owned orchestra since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

The last concert of the Motherland Orchestra dates back to two years ago when an orchestra consisting of women went on stage in the Vahdat Hall garden under the baton of Nezhat Amiri in memory of nurses taking care of Covi-19 patients. The concert which was filmed and available to audience offline featured a piece by the late Iranian Tar player and Iranian classical music composer Aminollah Hossein.
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Golnoush Khaleghi, the daughter of Rouhollah Khaleghi, was one of the most successful Iranian musicians and a pioneer of conducting orchestras as a woman. She learned to play piano under his father and Maestros such as Hossein Saba, Javad Maroufi and Emanuel Malik-Aslanian. She also receive harmony lessons from Mostafa Kamal Pourtorab. According to the website of the Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center, Golnoush Khaleghi “Golnoush spent three-and-half years at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, specializing in conducting under the tutelage of Professor Kurt Prestel and Professor Gerhard Wimberger. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the same field from Oberlin College and the University of Wisconsin, respectively.

“Ms. Khaleghi has worked closely with such renowned conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Robert Fountain, Karol Teutsch, and the late Rouben Gregorian, and has performed in the United States, Europe, Canada, Venezuela, and Iran. She is the founder of the National Iranian Radio and Television Choir (Hamavazan) in Tehran and the Rouhollah Khaleghi Orchestra in Washington DC. Since the cultural upheaval of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, she has been a prominent figure in promoting Persian music and culture through the concerts of the Rouhollah Khaleghi Orchestra and other activities abroad”. (rkac)

In 1985, she established the Rouhollah Khaleghi Orchestra in Washington DC featuring 25 musicians intending to follow her father’s path; she managed to stage several pieces for a national Iranian orchestra; however, the orchestra did not last long.

In 1990, she returned to Iran to rework and stage his father’s pieces, she was not allowed to do it though and only managed to publish “Mey-e Nab” album. She passed away February 2021 in the US with the unfulfilled wish to conduct an orchestra in her home country.

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Celebrating 20 Years of Harmony Talk’s Journey: Resilience, Evolution, Honoring the Legacy and Navigating Future Growth

In a momentous celebration of two decades, the “Arasbaran Cultural Center” was the stage for the 20th anniversary of “Harmony Talk”, an online journal that has become a cornerstone in the music community. Sadjad Pourghanad, the editor-in-chief, delivered a speech that resonated with gratitude and vision.

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.

From Past Days…

The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs

The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs was held in Niavaran Cultural Center, in Tehran, Iran on Feb. 28th, 2015. The initiator of the festival was Sajjad Pourghanad, Iranian music writer, researcher, founder of the festival and Persian setar and tar player.

From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (II)

Rouhollah Khaleghi was the master of composing beautiful melodies. He was the premier of the course of history which was first established by Ali Naghi Vaziri and which improved the Iranian music from simply a gathering music to the classical music of the country. First efforts to compose independent and instrumental music can be also traced in Khaleghi’s works.

Tehran Flute Choir Established

Tehran Flute Choir was established in 1394 (late 2015) by Firouzeh Navai. Tehran Flute Choir, Iran’s first largest flute choir, recruited its members mostly from young talented flutists of Iranian Flute Association. Featuring piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute, Tehran Flute Choir, directed by Firouzeh Navai, premiered under the batons of Saeed Taghadosi on January 7-8, 2016 at Roudaki Hall in Tehran.

The First Saba Student Music Festival Concluded in Tehran

Preparations for Saba Student Music Festival started in the summer of 2016; the Student Music Festival will be held annually by the students of music at Arts University. The first part of the closing ceremony of the Festival was dedicated to the celebration of the life, work and strives by Maestro Hossein Dehlavi to upgrade the level of music as an academic discipline. The name of the award-winning students and ensembles were announced at the second part of the ceremony.

Avaye Naerika Percussion Orchestra

Avaye Naerika Percussion Orchestra is an Iranian percussion orchestra featuring 40 lady percussionists. The Orchestra was established as Iran’s largest all-female percussion orchestra in 2008 by Ms. Minoo Rezaei under the title Naerika Percussion Orchestra and changed its name to Avaye Naerika in 2017.

Celebrating 20 Years of Harmony Talk’s Journey: Resilience, Evolution, Honoring the Legacy and Navigating Future Growth

In a momentous celebration of two decades, the “Arasbaran Cultural Center” was the stage for the 20th anniversary of “Harmony Talk”, an online journal that has become a cornerstone in the music community. Sadjad Pourghanad, the editor-in-chief, delivered a speech that resonated with gratitude and vision.

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.

The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (III)

“Our ancestors believe powerful blows upon the Daf scatters evil spirits of disease and distress to create a clean and holy space filled with health and prosperity. Adding tools to Daf increases this instrument’s purification, spreading, and summoning powers of evil forces and goddesses. Daf was mostly depicted by red, color of blood, in ancient times or sometimes it was depicted with green, the color of plants and nature. There were probably some mysterious designs painted upon the wooden body and frames of these instruments just like today” (Pahlavan, 2013: 44).

Principles of Violin Playing (IX)

4.3.1. To practice playing of doubles of notes involving two different fingers, each note is played at separate bows with slow tempo, each note is played perfectly regarding its bass and tenor sounds and then the considered double is played at another bow while considering the resulted sound of the double.

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.