TEHRAN, Aug. 18 (Mehr News Agency) -- A ceremony honoring tar virtuosos Jalil Shahnaz and the late Darvish Khan was held at Tehran's Honar Cultural Center on Wednesday.
The ceremony began with a music video of Shahnaz and was followed by a duet performed by tar player Hushang Amir-Heshmati and tonbak player Saeid Rudbari.
In his address, the director of the Music Department of the Art and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality said that many believe that master Shahnaz was the pioneer of the tar.
"He was one of a kind in his time," Abbas Sajjadi observed.
"One does not become a musician in one night or even a year. It takes years and even decades of practice, and I hope Iranian youth learn to be followers of great men like Darvish Khan, Shahnaz, Hassan Kasaii, and Mohamamdreza Shajarian," he added.
Later in the event, Pasha Hanjani, Ali Pajuheshgar, Reza Derakhshani, and Ali Rahimi performed several pieces popularized by Darvish Khan.
Master Kasaii was not able to attend but his message was read out, in which he said, "There are not many who can understand music like Shahnaz, but the tar of Shahnaz is something else. Everybody knows how much I adore him and his music."
Veteran vocalist Mohammadreza Shajarian also spoke at the ceremony, saying, "I live with the music of Shahnaz. In my automobile, there is nothing but the music of Shahnaz. His music has mesmerized me for many years. What is there in his music which has carried me away all these times? The music of Shahnaz is the only (instrumental) music that has the feel of singing."
Shahnaz could make his instrument sing, Shajarian said.
"I enjoy listening to his music. I am a vocalist who considers a musician his master. I owe him a lot," he added.
He then sang a song he had performed with Shahnaz many years ago.
Later, 12-year-old musician Amin Ataii amazed everyone with his tar playing, especially since he performed with such poise before all the virtuosos.
Master Shahnaz, who has difficulty walking, asked the youth to come over to him and gave him a hug and the other virtuosos also hugged him and praised his performance. He is the student of a student of Shahnaz.
Musician and university professor Dariush Pirniakan told participants at the event that Shahnaz and Darvish Khan were very innovative, adding, "Both musicians developed the modern method of (tar) playing and made great changes.
"The music of Shahnaz is unique, and young musicians must learn to listen to this kind of music. I became interested in music through the tar of Shahnaz."
Shahnaz was born in Isfahan in 1921. His father, Shabankhan, was a music enthusiast, and his house was a gathering place for musicians.
He developed an interest in music at an early age and learned how to play the tar from Abdolhossein Shahnazi and his elder brother Hossein Shahnaz.
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