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Predecessor's grievances haunt Tehran Symphony Orchestra conductor

TEHRAN, Jan. 24 (Mehr News Agency) -- Nearly two years since the resignation of former Tehran Symphony Orchestra conductor Ali Rahbari, the current conductor is complaining about the same things that caused Rahbari to quit: financial problems!

Nader Mashayekhi believes that the orchestra's problems can be solved if steps are taken for its semi-privatization.

"If we can attract private investors, a great part of the orchestra's problems will be resolved," he told the Mehr News Agency on Wednesday.

The orchestra has gone through several conductors over the past decade due to its extensive financial problems.

Austria-based Iranian musician and conductor Ali Rahbari was invited in 2004 to reorganize the orchestra, but he resigned in February 2005 because financial problems were left unresolved due to changes in the cultural policy.

Afterwards, Mashayekhi, who was also based in Austria, was selected to conduct the orchestra and he agreed to resume rehearsals with the very low budget allocated.

While Rahbari had said in his resignation letter that he could not bear the situation when he saw a good musician of his orchestra getting paid only 800,000 rials (about $85) a month.

The orchestra has been criticized for its performances during the 22nd Fajr International Music Festival in early January.

"As far as I know, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance can finance only 12 concerts a year through providing the fees for hall rentals, sound recording equipment, stage apparatus, etc.," Mashayekhi said.

"There are delays in paying the wages of the musicians, who only earn their living by working in the orchestra. In addition, the wages fall short of the expenses of an ordinary life, so they have to think of other jobs. Consequently, they have less time for rehearsals, and they are not motivated for their performances," he added.

Attracting sponsors for concerts would be one way to resolve the problems, he noted.

... Payvand News - 1/24/07 ... --

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