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Iran to take controversial symphony to Europe despite objections

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran; photos by Baqer Nasir

The Tehran Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will perform the Peace and Friendship Symphony in five European countries despite objections by a number of prominent Iranian musicians.

Italy, France, and Germany will be three of the five countries to host the TSO from January 22 to February 4, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported on Monday.

The two other countries will be announced in the near future, the agency added with no reference to the source of the report.

No precise venue was mentioned for the TSO's concerts in the three countries.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kisses conductor Majid Entezami after
a performances of the Peace and Friendship Symphony by the Tehran
Symphony Orchestra at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on February 2, 2009.
Former culture minister Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi is also seen.

A number of Iranian musicians including Melal Orchestra conductor Peyman Soltani and TSO Council member Mostafa-Kamal Purtorab are opposed to the composition selected for the concerts.

They have said that the Peace and Friendship Symphony lacks the standards of a symphony to be performed in Europe, which is home of the world's most prominent composers and prestigious symphony orchestras.

They believe that Iranian classical music will be dishonored by performing the symphony.

Composed by Majid Entezami in last year, the symphony was originally entitled the Islamic Revolution Symphony, but it has recently been renamed for the European concerts.

Majid Entezami

It was first performed at Tehran's Vahdat Hall for five nights during Iran's Fajr celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in February 2009. A number of high-ranking Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended one of the concerts.

... Payvand News - 01/18/10 ... --

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