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Triumph of peace over conflict: Behzad Ranjbaran's "awakening" in Miami Beach, Florida


New world symphony, America's orchestral academy,  to perform Iranian-born composer Behzad Ranjbaran's awakening Saturday, September 15, 8:00 p.m.,  conducted by Joel Smirnoff at Lincoln theatre, Miami Beach


MIAMI BEACH, FL - The New World Symphony, America's Orchestral

Academy (NWS), will perform the U.S. Premiere of Iranian-born composer Behzad Ranjbaran's Awakening, a commissioned work premiered by International Sejong Soloists in Korea's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in 2005 as a celebration of peace. 


Ranjbaran writes: "Preserving the sanctity of peace is a common desire of all humanity.  It is hard to understand why humans at times are drawn to war, when prosperity and happiness can be gained by peace.  It is fitting to celebrate peace with music, an inclusive art form that transcends time, cultures and generations."


Awakening, a reflection on war and peace, is one continuous movement with three interconnected sections: Andante con fuoco, Largo spirituali, and Andante con fuoco.  The main five-note motif of Awakening is used to craft an "Arc de Triomphe" in the music, visually creating a symbolic gesture to represent the triumph of peace over conflict (see below). The melodic and harmonic basis of Awakening is a short motive, heard at the outset of the piece and is continuously varied and transformed as the work progresses.  The agitated first section is followed by a meditative and contemplative middle section.  The final section shares many characteristics of the first section but with a sense of optimism that brings the piece to an energetic finale.


Behzad Ranjbaran's music has been performed by such internationally acclaimed artists as Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, and Yo-Yo Ma. Ranjbaran's Songs of Eternity was written for Renée Fleming, who premiered the work with the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Gerard Schwarz.  Joshua Bell was the soloist in the premiere performances of Ranjbaran's Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, also conducted by Schwarz. Mr. Bell went on to give the work's North American premiere with the Indianapolis Symphony, conducted by Mario Venzago, and subsequent performances with Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony.  June 2008 will see the premiere of a new piano concerto, commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony for soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.


Recordings include the Persian Trilogy on the Delos label by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta. This orchestral cycle, comprising the works Seven Passages, Seemorgh, and The Blood of Seyavash, takes its inspiration from ancient Persian legends, as recounted in the 11th century epic poem Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). Ms. Falletta has also conducted Elegy for Cello and Orchestra with soloist Yo-Yo Ma and the Buffalo Philharmonic, reviewed in the Buffalo press as "ethereal...fragile, almost like a mirage."


Born in Tehran, Iran, Mr. Ranjbaran is the recipient of 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 in 1974, where he attended Indiana University and received his doctorate from The Juilliard School, where he currently serves on the faculty. Named a "Distinguished Artist" by the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Ranjbaran's honors also include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a grant from Meet the Composer (composer/choreographer project), and a Charles Ives Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Vaughan Williams' Oboe Concerto, a work originally intended to be premiered in 1944 at Proms but postponed and premiered in Liverpool due to the threat of V1 rockets raids on London, will also be performed, featuring NWS alumnus and current Principal Oboist of the Washington National Opera Igor Leschishin.  Brahms' String Sextet No. 1, arranged by Yoav Talmi, will close the program. 


Tickets for the performances are free, but are required for admission.  Interested patrons should call 305-673-3331, or visit online at to reserve tickets for this performance.


Additional information about New World Symphony may be obtained online at




Note: the main 5-note motif of Awakening is used to craft an "Arc de Triomphe" in the music, visually creating a symbolic gesture to represent the triumph of peace over conflict; measures 106 and 107 are a mirror image of measures 104 and 105.


... Payvand News - 9/12/07 ... --

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