In October, the Nazeris (father and son, Shahram and Hafez) tour Canada with Untold, the latest chapter of the great Rumi Symphony project, an original fusion of occidental classical music and Persian traditional music presented by this famous family of Iranian artists. The project aims to promote love and peace by setting the widely appreciated works of the 13th-century mystic poet, Rumi, to music.
“When I began this adventure, I imagined bringing together the distinctive personality and freedom of Persian music, the music of my culture, and the formal and very different expression of Occidental classical music,” says artistic director Hafez Nazeri. His grand artistic objective: “To create a new musical universe, a unified composition characterized by Occidental harmony and orchestration which also resonated in the deep, ancient tones of the Middle East; a new school of music that could transcend cultural divisions and allow us to dream of a universal voice.”
Hafez is pursuing and developing what his father initiated more than 40 years ago. Shahram Nazeri, nicknamed the “Pavarotti of Iran” by the New York Times, is thought to be the first artist to match Rumi’s universal message of love and peace to music.
A Tour with a Message
The project presents Rumi’s poetry, transcribed by the successful author Deepak Chopra, and shines a spotlight on several guest artists, including the tabla percussion virtuoso Zakir Hussain, the Grammy-award-winning drummer Glen Velez and the celebrated Canadian cellist Matt Haimovitz. The great diversity among the participants in this project reinforces Hafez Nazeri’s ambition to contribute to the establishment of solid, enduring ties between Oriental and Occidental cultures.
The concert, which will present works old and new from the Rumi Symphony project, will not fail to share messages of liberty, notably that of Oriental women and their right to limitless expression of their artistic creativity. In this light, three talented choral singers contribute to the project.
The Untold album, co-produced by Hafez Nazeri and Grammy-award-winning producer David Frost, brings together 38 musicians and engineers. This album is the first from a Middle Eastern artist to reach number one on the famous Billboard charts.
Oct. 13: Algonquin Commons Theatre in Ottawa. www.algonquinsa.com
Oct. 14: Théâtre Saint-Denis in Montréal.
Oct. 21: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. www.sonycentre.ca
Oct. 27: Bella Concert Hall in Calgary.
Oct. 28: Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.
For more details on the Untold tour, please visit www.hafeznazeri.com.
Translated by Janessa Culliford