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Persian Piano Music at the most famous Concert Hall of Holland - On April 7th 2012, Pejman Akbarzadeh will perform a Persian piano music recital at the most famous concert Hall of The Netherlands "Concertgebouw". The program contains Persian folk songs and works by Kouchyar Shahroudi, Ali-Naqi Vaziri, Hamid-Reza Taherzadeh, Farhad Fakhredini and Ali Tajvidi which have been arranged for piano solo by the Pianist. In the event, Elpida Soltani is the guest dancer for two pieces.

It's the first time that Amsterdam Concert Hall hosts a Persian (Iranian) pianist. "Performing Persian music on the piano has been a controversial issue since decades ago", Pejman says, "even in the first decade after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran it was forbidden to present piano in showcases of the shops; for religious hardliners this instrument was a symbol of Western imperialism!", Pejman adds.

There are special intervals in Persian classical music called "quarter-tones" which can not be performed on the standard pianos. It is one of the main reasons for traditional musicians to be disagree by using the piano in Persian music but Pejman believes Persian piano music is something new in the piano literature of the world and it is not going to be considered as the repertoire of classical Persian music.

Piano & Persia

The first piano was imported to Persia in 1806. It was a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to the Persian emperor Fath-Ali Shah. There were very few similarities between the mechanism of the piano and the 'santour' (a Persian musical instrument) so at the time as there were no pianists in the country, Sorourol-Molk (a court musician) tried to play some melodies on piano. 

Since that time, the usage of piano in Persian music was continued in two different main ways. Some musicians who used just their own 'talent' and were very faithful to classical Persian (Iranian) music and, some others who were educated in Western conservatories and used Persian melodies just as an 'inspiration'. 

Pejman's interpretation of Persian music on the piano is different from both styles. He is trying to make his arrangements sound very Persian, but not completely different from the standard playing of the piano.

The Pianist: Pejman Akbarzadeh

The pianist, journalist and music historian Pejman Akbarzadeh was born in 1980 in Shiraz and received his first piano lessons at the age of nine from Gholam Loghmani and later from Bahram Nasrollahi. He continued his piano studies more seriously with Farman Behboud, former professor at the Tehran Conservatory.

At the age of 15, Pejman started to research the artistic activities of 20th century Persian (Iranian) musicians. In 1998, he finished the first volume of his research on the composers and conductors, which was published in 2000. The book was dubbed the "honor of Persian musicological circles" by Maryland-based 'Iranian Musicology Quarterly' and became a source of reference for various publications such as the 'Encyclopedia Iranica', published by Iranian Studies department of Columbia University, NY. Prof. Ehsan Yarshater, editor of the encyclopedia described this research as " well-researched, factual, devoid of usual sentimentality and exaggerations, and extraneous material".

In the years 2001-2005, Pejman Akbarzadeh worked with various reformist Persian-language newspapers in Tehran such as the dailies "Yas-e No" and "Shargh," both of which were banned by the Iranian government. Some of his articles (mostly on music, culture and history) were also published in the U.S.-based "Persian Heritage" magazine, "Payvand News", etc. He briefly freelanced for the BBC Persian Service.

From 2002 to 2006, Pejman was the representative of "Persian Gulf Online" organization in Tehran. As the youngest lecturer, he gave a few lectures in the field of Persian Gulf studies at the Persian Studies Foundation's Conference in Shiraz and the Artists' Forum in Tehran.

In 2006, due to the growing restrictions in Iran, Pejman moved to the Netherlands as a "knowledge migrant"; since that time he is a senior producer at Radio Zamaneh in Amsterdam. He Also performed the first Persian piano recital in the Dutch capital in March 2008; The sold-out concert at Bethanienklooster resulted in further invitations to perform in other Dutch cities and also Germany.

In 2009 Pejman also finished his first cinematic project; a documentary about the Legendary Persian diva Hayedeh who passed away in exile in 1990. The documentary was nominated as the "best documentary" at Noor Film Festival in Los Angeles and Dutch Weekly Elsivier cited that as a "Must See" film. The documentary was also screened at International Exile Film Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden and various other events in Europe and US.

In Summer 2009 following the pro-freedom demonstrations in Persia (Iran) which turned to blood, Pejman joined the solidarity events in Europe with the people of his homeland; performing at Holland's Iranian Artists Eve in Amsterdam, International Solidarity Conference with Iran's Students at the University of Delft, Human Rights and Press Freedom Conference at Amsterdam's Tropentheater and coopration with UNITED4IRAN demonstrations were among them.

- More info about 7th April concert in Amsterdam in DUTCH & PERSIAN.
- Facebook Page of the even (Link)

... Payvand News - 03/29/12 ... --

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