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Persian New Year Observed with Nationwide Radio Broadcast of Music by Iranian-American Composer Reza Vali

Source: Farhang Foundation

Toward that Endless Plain, a concerto for Persian ney, to be heard on 90 stations via American Public Media's Symphony Cast

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) is pleased to announce that its performance of Toward that Endless Plain, a concerto for Persian ney by Iranian-born composer Reza Vali, will be broadcast across the US in conjunction with the Persian new year. A LACO co-commission, the work is inspired by mystic poet Sohrab Sepehri and features ney virtuoso Khosrow Soltani. The two-hour SymphonyCast program also offers performances of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1, "Classical" and the "Reformation" Symphony of Mendelssohn, plus interviews with the artists, including composer Vali.

American Public Media will make the program available to its carrier stations beginning on March 16, 2009. Listeners in Southern California can tune in on Saturday, March 21 at 6:00 pm to Classical KUSC 91.5 FM in Los Angeles and its affiliates in Santa Barbara (KQSC 88.7 FM), Palm Springs (KPSC 88.5 FM) and Thousand Oaks (KDSC 91.1 FM). A complete SymphonyCast carriage list is attached; listeners should consult their local stations for exact dates and times of broadcast.

A live concert featuring Vali's work was recorded on Sunday, November 3, 2007 at UCLA's Royce Hall before a packed house of classical music enthusiasts, many from the Persian community, eager to hear its West Coast premiere. An accomplished composer, Vali says that this complex work is distinctly post-9/11 in its exploration of the interaction of East and West, which can often be violent. In this composition, the voice of the ney acts as protagonist as it tries to escape from the violence in order to find peace. "[Using] the orchestra...interactively as a part of a scenario based on a Persian mystical poem..." The Los Angeles Times praised the "magical moments" of Vali's Toward that Endless Plain, describing it as "a flute concerto like no other...[a] resourceful exploration of the ney's mysterious, haunting and evocative timbral qualities" and "essentially a journey in sound" (2007).

The full concert to be broadcast begins with Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Classical," Op. 25 (1917), continues with the Reza Vali concerto, and concludes with Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 5 in D major, "Reformation," Op. 107 (1832).

Broadcast of this program is sponsored by the Farhang Foundation: The Iranian American Heritage Foundation of Southern California. Commenting on the Farhang Foundation's sponsorship, the President, Dr. Touraj Daryaee, noted that "...partnering with LACO, one of the premiere cultural institutions of our city, in this milestone season fits perfectly with the mission of our organization. It is a special opportunity to promote and celebrate the wonderful art and culture of Iranian-Americans in Southern California, and it also allows us to bring LACO's performance of Reza Vali's marvelous composition to classical music listeners across America, thereby enriching the community at large."

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 40th anniversary season from September 2008 through May 2009 with concerts at the UCLA's Royce Hall, the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Zipper Concert Hall in downtown LA, the Broad Stage in Santa Monica and Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium. For more information, visit

Reza Vali was born in Ghazvin, Persia (Iran) in 1952. He began his music studies at the Conservatory of Music in Tehran. In 1972, he went to Austria and studied music education and composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna. After graduating from the Academy of Music, he moved to the United States and continued his studies at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his Ph.D. in music theory and composition in 1985. Mr. Vali has been a faculty member of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University since 1988. He has received numerous awards and commissions, including the honor prize of the Austrian Ministry of Arts and Sciences, two Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships, commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, the Seattle Chamber Players and the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as the Outstanding Emerging Artist for which he received the Creative Achievement Award.

Ney virtuoso Khosrow Soltani was born in Tehran and has been living in Austria since 1974. He studied in Tehran's conservatory and finished his degree as a bassoonist in 1971. From 1971 to 1974, he played bassoon as a regular member of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. In October 1974, he began his bassoon studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria with Karl Oelberger. He has also recorded and toured the United States and Canada with the Clemencic Consort and Musica Antiqua Wien. Soltani began performing the Persian ney in 1979 and has performed the ney in many different ensembles. In 1984, he founded Shiraz, an ensemble for Persian music, with which he has played many concerts at various European festivals. In addition, he has recorded for the WDR, the NDR, and Franc Musiq, among others. Also a composer, Soltani's Ancient cal a new, Great Mahur, and Salut del amore are available on commercial CDs.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has gained a reputation for both virtuosic music-making and dynamic programming. Renowned pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane has led the group since 1997, continuing the standard of excellence set by the Orchestra's first four music directors, Sir Neville Marriner, Gerard Schwarz, Iona Brown and Christof Perick.

The Fahrang Foundation: The Iranian-American Heritage Foundation of Southern California's mission is to support the study and research of Iranian history, art and culture in all its rich diversity in cooperation with academic and cultural institutions, and to promote and celebrate the culture and heritage of Iranian-Americans, thereby enriching the community at large in Southern California. 

Press Contact: Elizabeth Hinckley
Rogers & Cowan
310 854 8199

... Payvand News - 03/21/09 ... --

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