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Iranian vocalist Mohammadreza Shajarian to receive France's highest honor


Source: Tehran Times (photos by Mehdi Qasemi, ISNA)

The living legend of Iranian traditional music Mohammadreza Shajarian will receive the medal of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in Paris next week. Speaking at a ceremony the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) held on Tuesday evening to commemorate tar virtuoso Jalil Shahnaz (1921-2013), IAF Director Majid Sarsangi announced the news.

Mohammadreza Shajarian next to a photo of Jalil Shahnaz at the ceremony in Iranian Artists Forum

Shahram Nazeri, another Iranian vocalist, received the honor on September 29, 2008 for the scholarly interest he has taken in the musical interpretation and vocalization of the transcendent lyrics of Rumi.

Shajarian, who began his education with Shahnaz, attended the commemoration ceremony and delivered a speech.

Mohammadreza Shajarian speaking at the event

"I am glad to come together here again and to talk with the language of heart," Shajarian said.

"I have been living with the voice of Shahnaz's tar for years. When he performs it is as if he tells a story. All the motifs and words of his music are of the same nature and narrate a single subject," he added.

"Few musicians I have seen are able to perform as illustratively as Shahnaz did. Shahnaz was the god of this job. With his instrument, he pictured everything," he stated.

Shahnaz died at the age of 92 on June 17, 2013. Shajaran said during his funeral, "The master created love and passion inside me. I owe all my achievements to the voice of his tar. He is the only person who deserves the title of master [of tar playing]. Like Hafez, he is unrepeatable. With all respect to tar players, the book of Iranian tar playing should be closed after the death of Shahnaz."


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