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Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Presents Ranjbaran's Seven Passages - A final work from his Persian Trilogy

November 15, 2006 – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) under the direction of resident conductor Robert Franz presents a program that features Behzad Ranjbaran’s Seven Passages, Persian Trilogy for Orchestra.


In referring to this work, composer Behzad Ranjbaran wrote, “Seven Passages is the final work of my Persian Trilogy, deriving its inspiration from an episode in Shahnameh titled The Seven Trials of Rostam. In writing Seven Passages, I was inspired by the symbolism evident in the story which depicts the passage of life with all of its pain, joy, triumph, tragedy and struggle. In the story, Rostam, the main hero of the book, goes through seven trials to rescue his imprisoned countrymen from the demons. Throughout these trials, Rostam emerges triumphant from his encounters with wild beasts, witches, demons, and dragons while performing one act of heroism after another.  However, I have come to realize that in real life, courageous acts are not only limited to heroes.  Unsung heroes perform countless acts of courage and struggle daily.”


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Seven Passages reveals the composer’s gift for symphonic color, set in an orchestration worthy of 20th century masters.  The American Record Guide stated about the recording of Persian Trilogy that “Ranjbaran has composed a noble and brilliantly conceived score, spectacularly orchestrated and filled with memorable tunes, meticulous development, and impressive craftsmanship.”


It was composed during 1999-2000 on a commission from Long Beach Symphony and additional support from National Endowment for the Arts.  It was premiered by Long Beach Symphony in March 26, 2000, JoAnn Falletta conductor. The score of Seven Passages is dedicated to JoAnn Falletta.   

This program also features Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and jazz saxophonist James Carter performing Roberto Sierra’s Concerto for Saxophones.  These performances are at Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 pm and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 pm.

BPO Resident Conductor, Robert Franz and composer Behzad Ranjbaran will speak at a pre-concert discussion 1 hour prior to the start of both performances.


For tickets to this concert, call the BPO Box Office at 885-5000 or visit   

IMPORTANT:  A DISCOUNT OF 20% on all tickets to these performances will be extended to those who mention “SEVEN PASSAGES” when calling for tickets.                                      


This Classics Series concert is sponsored by M&T Bank.

Artists Profiles

Behzad Ranjbaran

Behzad Ranjbaran was born in 1955 in Tehran, Iran and received the Rudolf Nissim Award for his Violin Concerto.  His musical education started early when he entered the Tehran Music Conservatory at the age of nine.  He came to the United States n 1974, where he attended Indiana University and received his doctorate in composition from The Juilliard School.  Currently, he is on the faculty of The Julliard School.  Named as “Distinguished Artist” by the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Ranjbaran’s honors also include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from Meet the Composer, and a Charles Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 

Robert Franz is the resident conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. He is also Music Director Emeritus of the Carolina Chamber Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Franz, a strong advocate of arts education, has designed and implemented arts education programs for the Carolina Chamber Symphony; The Buffalo Philharmonic, The Louisville Orchestra; the West End Chamber Ensemble; and the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony. Mr. Franz received his Master of Music degree in conducting from the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1992 and his Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance in 1990 from that same institution. 

James Carter was born in Detroit and grew up in a musical family, where he was constantly exposed to music – everything from Hendrix to P-Funk to Miles.  Carter made his way impressively into the national spotlight as a solo artist in 1994 with his Atlantic debut, The Real Quietsorm, a ballad-infused collection that earned him both standing ovations and critical accolades of the highest order.  On 15 February 2004, James Carter received one of the nations’ highest cultural awards: The Dr. Alaine Locke award.   The Detroit Institute of Arts and Friends of African and African American Art bestow this honor on individuals who have provided exemplary service and leadership in the promotion of African American culture.


... Payvand News - 11/24/06 ... --

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