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EY IRAN Anthem and 50th Anniversary of Rouhollah Khaleghi's Passing


November 12, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Rouhollah Khaleghi's demise. Khaleghi was one of iconic figures of 20th-century Persian music whose most famous work is EY IRAN anthem, with lyrics by Hossein Golgolab.

Rouhollah Khaleghi: 18 September 1906 - 12 November 1965

BBC Persian's Pejman Akbarzadeh has produced an special program on this occasion and interviewed Golnoush Khaleghi, daughter of Rouhollah Khaleghi, who currently lives in the United States. (LINK)

According to Golnoush Khaleghi, who is a pianist and conductor herself, regarding the story behind this anthem, various articles have been published in Persian-language media, most of which are far from reality; "The reason for composing Ey Iran was a discussion between my father and one of his musician colleagues, Lotfollah Mofakham-Payan. Mofakham was under this impression that if one composes a piece in a Persian mode, it will definitely have only the character of that mode. For example, the mode Dashti is known as a sorrowful mode, so if you compose a piece in Dashti, it will be a sad piece for sure. Khaleghi was against this idea and believed the atmosphere of the piece depends upon the composer's style, not the general character of the mode. Khaleghi proved his idea by setting Ey Iran in the Dashti mode; the piece has an epic character but the mode is known as sorrowful." Golnoush Khaleghi says.

Ey Iran

Rouhollah Khaleghi (18 September 1906 - 12 November 1965), Persian composer, theoretician and music historian, was born in Kerman. Even at an early age, he was fascinated by music and started to play the tar. Later he received violin lessons from Mirza Rahim Kamancheh-Kesh and Reza Mahjoubi.

In 1923 Khaleghi started to study violin and music theory at Ali-Naghi Vaziri Music School. Later he joined the school orchestra and studied harmony with Vaziri, an iconic figure for revolutionizing Persian music. Khaleghi also continued to study harmony through a correspondence course with a music school in Paris.

Alongside his artistic activities, Khaleghi continued his education at Tehran University and in 1934 received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Persian literature. In collaboration with a group of musicians in 1944 Khaleghi created the National Music Society and with the society's orchestra performed concerts in various Persian cities. In 1949 he established the National Music Conservatory to train musicians specializing in Persian music. After his retirement, he continued his work at Radio Tehran as the conductor of the Golha Orchestra and producer of various Persian music programs.

VIDEO: AFRA CHESHMEH, A Rare Piece by Rouhollah Khaleghi, Vocalist: Elaheh

Khaleghi wrote his work in various categories, including orchestral compositions, vocal pieces and educational materials. He is also the author of a three-volume book on the history of Persian music and a two-volume book on the theory of classical Persian music. He translated a harmony book from French into Persian, which is mainly the outcome of his correspondence course.
Rouhollah Khaleghi passed away in 1965 in Salzburg, Austria.


Music: Rouhollah Khaleghi, Lyrics: Fereydoun Moshiri
Arranged for Choir: Golnoush Khaleghi

Since years ago in the United States, Golnoush Khaleghi has created the Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center (RKAC). The main goal of this non-profit organization is collecting, organizing and recording the works of Rouhollah Khaleghi. The center has released various works of Khaleghi including "Remembering My Father" and "Ey Iran".

VIDEO: RUDAKY's LYRE, on a peom by Rudaki, Performed by National Choir of Persia

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