April 6, 2015

FOR ANDROPOV IT WAS JAZZ:

Tehran's reborn symphony orchestra: an ovation before playing a note (Saeed Kamali Dehghan, 6 April 2015, The Guardian)


In its eight-decade history, the Tehran Symphony Orchestra has ridden out some turbulent events: a western-engineered coup that overthrew the democratically elected prime minister in the 1950s, the Islamic revolution, and war with Iraq.

Under the country's previous president, the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this once glamorous music institution experienced one of its darkest periods when it was disbanded due to negligence by officials and financial stringency.

But now, the culture ministry has hired a world-class conductor and it is rising from the ashes nearly three years after it was shut down. Last month musicians took to the stage as Beethoven's Symphony No 9 filled Tehran's Vahdat hall at the opening ceremony.

"I walked on to the stage and the audience rose to its feet," said Alexander Rahbari, the principal conductor. "I've performed for 40 years outside Iran and never seen a standing ovation before the performance. This was something totally different. It showed what having the orchestra back meant to them. I was close to tears."

The front row was filled with dignitaries and senior officials, an indication of the support the new Iranian administration is throwing behind the group. 

Posted by at April 6, 2015 1:07 PM
  

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