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"Rustam and Sohrab" composed with Orff's assistance: Tjeknavorian

TEHRAN, Oct. 29 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian musician and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian regarded the guidance provided by German composer Carl Orff in the composition of his opera "Rustam and Sohrab" as a great experience.


In an interview with the Mehr News Agency he explained about his years of study in Vienna, his experiences, and his meetings with Orff there, saying, "I graduated from the Vienna Academy of Music with honors in 1961. Right after I finished my studies, an Austrian publisher published five volumes of my compositions which were later performed by young conductors there."


Iranian composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian holds the Austrian gold medal of merit after an interview with the Mehr News Agency on October 27. He received the medal during a ceremony held at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran on October 23. (Mehr/Majid Asgaripur)


He referred to his meetings with "Carmina Burana" composer Orff and said, "Two years later I returned to Vienna and met Orff. I showed him my first draft of 'Rustam and Sohrab' and asked for his opinion. He was a knowledgeable musician who was well acquainted with the culture of the orient. When I told him it is an opera based on a masterpiece by Ferdowsi, he became extremely happy and I found out that he knew Ferdowsi and Persian literature as well.


"He asked me to show him the piece and gave me invaluable advice. When I was asked about the time of performance, I told him I would like to revise it again, since I believed it did not possess the authentic Persian identity in those days."


He went on to say, "Carl Orff asked me to stay in Salzburg, where he was staying at the time, and complete the opera. But that was not possible for me, since it was a very expensive city and I could not afford the high cost of living there. Orff later asked me to visit him in his school and told me not to worry about the expenses. I was granted a scholarship and was able to stay one more year to accomplish my work. Afterwards, I gave several performances of the opera in Austria and then traveled to the United States to study conducting," he explained.


Tjeknavorian later remarked that today, the world is moving towards simplicity, and with the availability of high technology, an orchestra musician can perform and also conduct the orchestra.  This eliminates the need for orchestras to have conductors in order to perform famous works by world-class musicians.


"The social situation has changed and now the youth are after simple things. They have not learned to listen to classical music in their childhood or even at schools. Classical pieces are like classic literature and not many people have the time to read and comprehend literature. I believe if the public sector or other sponsors do not take action, we will not perform any of these kinds of works in the near future."


Tjeknavorian has composed the music for the puppet show "Rustam and Sohrab" directed by Behruz Gharibpur which was highly acclaimed by Iranian and foreign viewers. 


Tjeknavorian also received Austria's gold medal of merit in a ceremony held at the Austrian embassy in Tehran last week.

... Payvand News - 10/29/08 ... --

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