Source: Canadian Immigrant magazine
Iranian composer and orchestra conductor Maziar Heidari is among Canada's Top 25 Immigrants of 2017. The Canadian Immigrant magazine has announced winners of its ninth annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards which chooses and celebrates the success stories of Canadian immigrants who have made an influential contribution to Canada. The award is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
About Maziar Heidari:
Iranian-born composer Maziar Heidari's life as a musician began with some resistance - his parents forced him to take piano lessons starting at the age of five. "It was terrible to sit in one place and practise for half an hour," he says, with a smile. "I hated it." But, as he grew up, he realized that music could be a vehicle to process his emotions. "If you're not a talkative person, you can express yourself with your instrument."
Music gave Heidari an added voice when he fell in love with composing. "You can reflect the environment around you through your music," he explains. He studied with famous Iranian composer Farhad Fakhreddini, who introduced one of Heidari's pieces into the Iran National Music Orchestra's repertoire, and Heidari was hooked. "It is an unbelievable feeling when you hear your music live for the first time."
Heidari had to kickstart his music career all over again when he immigrated to
Toronto at age 34, at the urging of his wife. Merging into the Canadian music
industry was challenging, and he decided to pursue a master's in conducting at
the University of Toronto. One of his professors introduced him to local
composers and, slowly, he built up a new professional network.
In 2011, Heidari joined forces with four other Persian-Canadian musicians to form the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto, a group that plays a fusion of Iranian and Western classical music. "We wanted to make a bridge between cultures," says Heidari, who also performs regularly at the Tirgan Iranian Festival of art and culture in Toronto, the next one coming up this July 29-30.
In addition to becoming a sought-after composer for the National Ballet of Canada, Thirteen Strings Orchestra in Ottawa and more, Heidari also formed Heidari Music, which consolidates his talents in conducting, composing, playing and teaching piano.
Proud to have been recently chosen as a classical judge for the 2017 Juno Awards, Heidari also enjoys plugging in other Iranian musician newcomers into his professional community in Canada. "It's an amazing feeling when I see them creating art here."
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