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Behzad Ranjbaran Named SPAC Composer-in-Residence


Behzad Ranjbaran Named Saratoga Performing Arts Center Composer-in-Residence for 2005; SPAC to present Two Ranjbaran Premieres, and Composer to Speak for 40th Season

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - (April 14, 2005) - Behzad Ranjbaran has been named Saratoga Performing Arts Center's Composer-in-Residence for 2005, and two of his premieres will be performed at SPAC this summer for SPAC's 40th anniversary season, SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia J. White has announced.

Behzad Ranjbaran

Under the baton of Maestro Charles Dutoit, The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform the commissioned Saratoga on August 10 at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheatre, and on August 20 at 8:15 p.m. Ranjbaran's acclaimed Violin Concerto will be performed by Canadian violinist Chantal Juillet with the Orchestra. The composer will speak before the August 20 performance at SPAC's 7 p.m. Pre-Performance Talk in the Hall of Springs, Gold Room. Saratoga Chamber Music Festival will premiere Ranjbaran's Piano Quintet in the August 14 concert at 2:15 p.m. in Spa Little Theatre. Tickets for all four events are available.

The season started for Behzad Ranjbaran with the release of his Persian Trilogy, recorded by London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by JoAnn Falletta. The orchestral Cycle, comprising the works Seemorgh, The Blood of Seyavash and Seven Passages, takes its inspiration from ancient Persian legends, as recounted in the 11th century epic poem Shahnameh (the Book of Kings). 

Chantal Juillet and The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Charles Dutoit, perform his Violin Concerto as part of Ranjbaran's composer in residence 2005 tenure at SPAC, which also includes the premiere on August 10 of Saratoga, his orchestral work in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the 15th anniversary of Saratoga Chamber Music Festival at SPAC. In August another of commissioned his works for string orchestra will be premiered at the International Sejong Soloists opening concert of Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea.

In recent seasons two of his major works were premiered: Songs of Eternity, a song cycle for Renée Fleming, was performed with Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz in September, 2002; and in January, 2003, Schwarz conducted Royal Liverpool Philharmonic when Joshua Bell premiered Violin Concerto.

Ranjbaran's The Blood of Seyavash has been described as "one of the most breathtaking modern story ballets" by Lisa A. DuBois in Nashville Banner, and as having "qualities of inherent beauty and strong musical structure that make it a satisfying musical entity" by Henry Arnold in Nashville Scene.  About Elegy for Strings Cecelia Porter said in The Washington Post it has "radiant luminescence." Reviewing Seven Passages John Farrell said in the Press-Telegram: "Ranjbaran plays the colors of the orchestra with an unconscious mastery: here the entire gathering of forces on stage are at his command, and he uses that power with grace and ease."

Accolades continue for Songs of Eternity, described in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Philippa Kiraly as "beautiful" with "exquisite melismas (expressive passages sung on one syllable)"; and Joe Riley commented in Liverpool Echo that Violin Concerto is "high class, cohesive" and "when the concerto...just sings out a fine melodic line, the effect is ravishing."

Ranjbaran, born in Tehran, Iran, is the recipient of Rudolf Nissim Award for his Violin Concerto. His musical education started early when he entered the Tehran Music Conservatory at age 9. He came to the United States in 1974, where he attended Indiana University and received his doctorate from Juilliard School, where he is on the faculty today.

Named Distinguished Artist by the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Ranjbaran's honors include grants from National Endowment for the Arts grant and Meet the Composer (composer/choreographer project), and a Charles Ives Award from American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ranjbaran's music has been performed in Europe, South America, Asia, and throughout the United States and ia published exclusively by Theodore Presser Company.

His recent compositions and commissions include: Symphony No.1; Seemorgh for Orchestra; The Blood of Seyavash, a full-length ballet for Nashville Ballet; a violin concerto for Joshua Bell; a cello concerto for Paul Tobias; Open Secret for chorus and chamber orchestra; Ballade for solo double bass for the International Society of Bassists; Seven Passages for Long Beach Symphony; and Moto Perpetuo, for violin and string orchestra.
For details or a ticket order form, call 518.584.9330 or visit The SPAC Box Office opens Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8 at noon for counter sales. Phone charge (518.587.3330) begins Monday, May 9 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available as of Tuesday, May 10, at Ticketmaster retail outlets, by phone charge (518.476.1000) and at


... Payvand News - 5/18/05 ... --

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