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Shahdad Rohani preparing Tehran Symphony Orchestra for Fajr festival

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

The U.S.-based Iranian composer Shahdad Rohani has returned home, preparing the Tehran Symphony Orchestra for the 26th Fajr International Music Festival.

Shahdad Rohani

As guest conductor, he will lead the orchestra in two concerts at the event, which are scheduled to be held in Tehran from February 21 to 27.

Rehearsals for the concerts will commence today, the festival's executive manager Babak Rezaii told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.

He accompanied the orchestra in a series of concerts at the Vahdat Hall in May and June of 2010.

The Tehran Symphony Orchestra has been in total chaos since July 2007 when Austrian-based Iranian musician and conductor Nader Mashayekhi was dismissed following his complaints over low salaries and delays in payment of musicians' wages.

The Music and Poetry Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced that the orchestra no longer had a permanent conductor.

However, they appointed Manuchehr Sahbaii as permanent conductor of the orchestra in January 2008.

Sahbaii led the orchestra in a government-sponsored concert tour in Europe, performing the Islamic Revolution Symphony, which was renamed the Peace and Friendship Symphony for the tour.

A number of Iranian critics called the symphony "a slight to Iran's classical music."

In early May 2010, Sahbaii also stopped conducting the symphony for "administrative problems and other difficulties."

Afterward, Majid Entezami, the composer of the Islamic Revolution Symphony and the Resistance Symphony, accompanied the orchestra in several concerts for governmental events.

The organizers of the orchestra then switched to using foreign guest conductors, first inviting 30-year-old German musician Matthias Kruger.

TSO's organizers were seriously censured by Iranian music critics for inviting Kruger.

Afterward, Iranian musician Nader Mortezapur was invited to conduct the TSO for several performances in Doha and Tehran.

In addition, the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra's chief conductor Derek Gleeson led the TSO as a guest conductor in concerts last December at Tehran's Vahdat Hall.

... Payvand News - 01/29/11 ... --

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