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Arts & Culture

Shajarian and his enduring legacy

Tehran Iranian young generation professionals working in the field of classic music inherited the legacy of Mohammad-Reza Shajarian as a master who was known for theoretical studies and also presenting the outcome of his regular studies in his routine performances, concerts and albums.

Known as the “King of Persian traditional songs,” the Iranian artist was born on September 23, 1940 , Mohammad-Reza Shajarian was an internationally and critically acclaimed Iranian classical singer, composer and master of Persian classic music.

He has been called 'Iran's greatest living maestro of Persian classical music. and is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy and humanitarian activities.

On May 9, 2017, Vice President for tourism and cultural heritage organization Zahra Ahmadipour said that the outstanding prayer of well-known Iranian singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian named “Rabbana” has been registered as the country’s national asset. In a special ceremony the national registration tablet on “Rabbana” a very famous praying by Mohammad Reza Shajarian was awarded to his son Homayoun Shajarian.

This outstanding works has been registered as the country’s national and cultural asset, she said. The outstanding performance of Rabbana was aired by radio and TV for about 30 years during the holy month of Ramadan.

On April 1, 2019 the honorary award of music has been granted by Aga Khan International Foundation to Iranian acclaimed singer Mohammad-Reza Shajarian at Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

During the meeting which was held with the attendance of Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca, Mozhgan Shajarian, who is the daughter of Mohammad-Reza Shajarian received the award.

Addressing the meeting, Rebelo de Sousa described music as a suitable way for humane globalization and maintaining relations among people and civilizations.

The Aga Khan Music Awards were created to recognize and support exceptional talent, creativity, promise, and enterprise in music performance, creation, education, preservation, and revitalization in societies across the world in which Muslims have a significant presence.

Shajarian’s award has been the most prestigious award of Aga Khan Foundation which is granted to the most influential music figures in the world and the event was participated by 14 artists among whom were Shahou Andalibi in Ney, Arash Mohafez in Santoor and Reza Parviz Zadeh in Kamancheh.

In a video message in 2016, on the eve of Norouz ( the Persian New Year) the artist informed the public that he had been battling cancer. Shajarian, suffered from cancer for several years, passed away at a hospital in Tehran on Thursday.

His funeral procession was held in a restricted manner due to health protocols imposed by COVID19 pandemic to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Big screens were installed across Mashad streets to allow his fans to watch the funeral procession live.

Shajarian’s family had asked for his body to be buried near the tomb of Ferdowsi, the Great Iranian poet.

Ferdowsi is well-known for preserving Persian Language and Shajarian served the same purpose for Iranian classic music. Laying to rest the maestro near Ferdowsi draws similarity in services of the two Iranian figures after 1,000 year time period.

The life time frame also draws similarity of the two: Ferdowsi died in 1020 and Shajarian died in 2020 and that Ferdowsi was born in 940 and Shajarian was born in 1940.

Messages late on Thursday offered condolences on the demise of the veteran Iranian singer Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian.

UN representative office in Iran said in a message that the demise of the great Iranian vocalist Mohammad Reza Shajarian caused deep grief and sorrow.

"We on behalf of the UN family in Iran express condolences to Shajarian's family and all his lovers in Iran and world. May the departed soul rest in peace," the message said.

Iran's Embassy in Zagreb in a tweet also extended condolences to the honorable and culture-loving compatriots, as well as lovers of Iranian culture and art, the death of the great Iranian vocalist and the internationally acclaimed figure.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Embassy to Iran expressed sincere condolences on the demise of Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian. "Switzerland will cherish the memories of his concerts in Lausanne and Zurich."

The British Embassy in Tehran also extended condolences to all his fans on the departure of one of the most prominent figures in Iranian traditional music of the last century.

Iran's Ambassador to the Azerbaijan Republic also paid homage to the late vocalist on his Twitter, expressing deep regret over the loss of “a towering figure in international music”.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message expressed condolences over death of Iranian legendary singer, too.

"Maestro Shajarian was a great & true Ambassador of Iran, her children and—most of all—her culture," Zarif wrote in his Twitter account on Thursday.

"I extend my deepest condolences to Iranians across the world and particularly to his loved ones," he added.

"From God we come and to Him we return."

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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