Two of Iran’s most celebrated musical artists return to Vancouver after a four-year absence. Legendary singer Shahram Nazeri and his son, composer Hafez Nazeri will showcase new works and beloved classics.
Between them, Shahram and Hafez Nazeri constitute one of the most influential musical families in contemporary music. Shahram Nazeri is one of Iran’s most beloved singers and his son Hafez is among Iran’s most influential and admired young composers. Together they have helped bring Persian/Sufi music to the Western audiences, toured the world and released recordings that have topped the Classical Charts.Shahran Nazeri was the first vocalist to set Rumi’s poetry to Persian music thirty-five years ago, establishing a tradition of Sufi music within Persian classical music and introducing Western musical audiences to both Sufism and to the poetry of Rumi. The New York Times has dubbed him the “Persian Nightingale” and the Christian Science Monitor has called him “Iran’s Pavarotti”. Most recently he was awarded with Chevalier des Arts et Lettres medal from the government of France for his lifetime achievements in Iranian traditional music.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Hafez has brought not only the essence of Persian culture, but also Rumi’s message to an even wider audience than ever before. “A performer with magnetic, pop-star appeal”, as the New Yorker put it, he has been featured by numerous news outlets and has been chosen by Vanity Fair as one of the most successful Iranians in NYC. “I want to create a revolution with music,” the musician says, “with love rather than hate, or chaos and bloodshed.”
In 2007, Hafez premiered his most passionate and ambitious undertaking: The Rumi Symphony, as the first major celebration of Rumi’s 800th birthday anniversary. He also released a new CD called The Passion of Rumi, which L.A Times and the Boston Globe chose as one of the five best CDs in World Music for 2007. Over the past several years the Rumi Symphony project has performed sold out concerts at the most prestigious concert halls around the world such as Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, Disney Concert Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and many others.Nazeri became interested in creating this kind of musical mix when he came to New York and studied composition at Mannes College The New School for Music.”I was always controversial, because whatever I do, I always wanted to make change,” Nazeri says. “So many people, they don’t like it. The conservative people don’t want to see the change, and if you touch, it means you are destroying a tradition.”