Nowruz: Persian New Year
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Shardad Rohani, conductor and piano
Homayoun Shajarian, vocals
Tahmoures Pournazeri, tanbour
Sohrab Pournazeri, kamancheh & tanbour
Navid Kandelousi, violin
Doors open at 6 p.m.
There is no Preview Talk before this performance.
Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, with Pacific Symphony! A traditional festival that marks the beginning of spring, Nowruz is a time to celebrate the “rebirth of nature” and wash away the past. Homayoun Shajarian and brothers Sohrab and Tahmoures Pournazeri join the symphony for a concert that unites cultures through the power of music.
DVOŘÁK: Carnival Overture
KHACHATURIAN: Sabre Dance
ROHANI: Dance of Spring
Persian Garden for Violin and Orchestra
Beauty of Love
Medley in Isfahan Scale
~ Intermission ~
Music by Homayoun Shajarian, Tahmoures Pournazeri and Sohrab Pournazeri
With an international reputation as a conductor and composer, Shardad Rohani is one of the most sought after, successful conductors on the music scene today. Educated at the Academy and Conservatory of Music in Vienna, Austria, Rohani has been the recipient of several important scholarships and awards both in Europe and United States. These include the A.K.M Scholarship, Vienna, Austria, and the ASCAP Scholarship, Los Angeles, California.
Rohani is the music director and conductor of the COTA symphony orchestra in Los Angeles. He has appeared as a guest conductor with a number of prestigious orchestras including the London Royal Philharmonic concert orchestra, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic and the American Youth Symphony and others. He conducted an open-air concert with the London Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the Parthenon, Athens, Greece. This concert was acclaimed by both critics and audience and became the most widely viewed program ever shown on Public Television in United States.
Homayoun Shajarian is a Persian classical music and Persian classical crossover vocalist, and a tombak player.(a Persian hand drum). He was born in Tehran into a music-dedicated family. He is the son of Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the grand master vocalist of Persian traditional music. Upon his father's advice, Shajarian began studying technique and rhythm under supervision of Nasser Farhangfar, master of the tombak, at the age of five. Afterwards, he continued learning the tombak under Jamshid Mohebbi's supervision.
Shajarian began learning Persian traditional vocal Avaz at the age of ten, alongside his older sisters under their father’s supervision, and gained knowledge of Avaz techniques and voice-producing. Simultaneously, he attended Tehran Conservatory of Music and chose kiamancheh as his professional instrument as well as being tutored by Ardeshir Kamkar. In 1991, he accompanied his father in concerts of the Ava Music Ensemble in the U.S, Europe and Iran, playing tombak; and in 1999, he started accompanying his father also on vocals. Shajarian first independent work, Nassim-e Vasl, composed by Mohammad Javad Zarrabian, was published on his 28th birthday, on 21 May 2003. "Hava-ye Geryeh" is one of his most famous songs.
Sohrab Pournazeri, virtuoso of the tanbour and the kamancheh, is a sensational phenomenon of modern Iranian music. He is a singer and instrumentalist whose music has surpassed the borders of Iran, fusing with cultures and artists as far and wide as China and the United States. His talent and courage have been acknowledged as extraordinary by no less than Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the great master of Iranian music.
Sohrab was born in 1982 to the musical family of Pournazeris. His father Kaykhosro Pournazeri is one of Iran’s most influential musicologists, and his brother Tahmoures has engendered a new movement in Iranian music through his performances and compositions. Music was Sohrab’s mother tongue; he learned it as other children learn to speak. At the age of two, he would play his father’s tanbour (whose body was larger than his) and sing the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. At 13, he was introduced to the stage as part of the Shams Ensemble, and today he is considered one of the core members of the group. Also starting at age 13, Sohrab studied the techniques of the kamancheh with Ardeshir Kamkar, and, because of his musical talent, was able to begin playing as a soloist with the Shams Ensemble after two years.
Sohrab has followed in the footsteps of his musical family, yet has achieved distinct and idiosyncratic techniques that have rendered his method of playing into something entirely unprecedented. He also pursues vocalizing and composing with the same unique approach, and has been able to steer the distinct Pournazeri musical form (with its emphasis on passion, emotion, and inventiveness) towards new horizons.
In the summer of 2017, Sohrab performed the ‘C Project’ for the first time alongside Homayoun Shajarian in Tehran’s historical Saadabad Palace Complex, a project he created with the aim of reviving the “wisdom” and old traditions of the Shahnameh (‘The Book of Kings’) for the young generation and familiarizing the audience with the roots of ancient Iranian culture and literature. In this project, Iranian musicians work alongside actors, artists, a film crew, and lighting and sound experts in order to create a unique multifaceted experience for the audience.
Sohrab is also well versed in the regional music of his native Iran, as well as western classical music, and holds a degree in Music Performance. As a soloist and vocalist, Sohrab has collaborated with artists and ensembles worldwide, including Shajarian, Shujaat Hussain Khan, the Beyond Borders Project and Pacific Symphony.
Tahmoures Pournazeri is a musician and composer whose creativity and inventiveness have marked him as a distinguished artist of his generation. He has been acclaimed by the U.S. Senate for composing music for the International Nowruz Celebration, and collaborated with artists like Joan Baez, Shujaat Hussain Khan and the great master Mohammad Reza Shajarian. Pournazeri has composed for fifteen albums covering six genres of music, participated in the Avignon Festival at the age of 15, won first honors among Young Iranian Talents at age 14, and performed with the Shams Ensemble at Iran’s most celebrated concert halls starting at age 12.
Tahmoures was born in February 1977 into the musical Pournazeri family. His father Kaykhosro Pournazeri is known as the father of Sufi music and of the tanbour, his grandfather Haji Khan was a distinguished tar player, and his passionate, compassionate mother is fondly remembered by the family members as their primary supporter. Tahmoures’ fascination with music is a result of growing up in this environment. At a time when even the simplest musical performance would be discouraged by the government and television programs were not allowed to broadcast the playing of instruments, the young Tahmoures had music and musical instruments as his only means of play and entertainment – and the poems of Rumi & Hafez were (and remain) his story-books and guides.
Tahmoures’ knowledge in the fields of Iranian tribal and traditional music, as well as western-style composition, has allowed him to create a new and original style – which is considered a great accomplishment in Eastern music. Along with his father Kaykhosro and his brother Sohrab, Tahmoures leads and directs the Shams Ensemble – considered one of Iran’s foremost musical groups. He plays all the major Iranian instruments, concentrating especially on the tar, setar, tanboir, barbat, and daf – and has experimented with and composed for new instruments designed by Mohammad Reza Shajarian. Tahmoures continues to compose in the fields of mystical music, modern Iranian classical music, Kurdish music, symphonic orchestral music, and modern fusion. He also has extensive experience in the field of music recording.
His cooperation with Homayoun Shajarian, the celebrated Iranian singer, has led to a best-selling album, "Beyond Any Form," and the highest grossing concert tour in the history of Iranian music, with a total audience of over 120,000. The album also features Sohrab Pournazeri on the kamancheh, American composer David K. Garner, Indian sitar virtuoso Shujaat Khan, Venezuelan flautist Pedro Eustache and American blues guitarist Jimmy Johnson.