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Tehran Symphony Orchestra conductor quits


Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Conductor Manuchehr Sahbaii gave up his job at the Tehran Symphony Orchestra on Sunday. He told the Persian service of MNA that he is not resigning officially since he has made an informal commitment to the orchestra and he explained that his decision to leave is merely a test.

"I decided not to conduct the symphony because of administrative problems and other difficulties, so guest conductors will be invited to conduct the orchestra," he added.

He said that using guest conductors for orchestra will produce negative results.

"Unfortunately the Tehran Symphony Orchestra is not strong and such a process will end in its falling apart," he said.

"I have been the permanent conductor of the symphony since 2008. Regarding my two Ph.D. dissertations on music and my fluency on five European languages, I have opportunities to collaborate with a number of international organizations," he said.

He said that he would function as a guest conductor with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra if he has sufficient time.

Sahbaii was appointed as permanent conductor of the orchestra in January 2008 after Nader Mashayekhi's informal dismissal from the post following an announcement by the Music and Poetry Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance that the orchestra no longer had a permanent leader.

Mashayekhi, like his predecessor, Ali Rahbari, had complained about delays in the payment of the musicians' wages and said that salaries fell short of covering the increases in the cost of living.

Over the past two years, the TSO has performed concerts occasionally, in commemoration of the Iran-Iraq 1980-1988 war and for ceremonies celebrating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

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