Iran’s renowned Shams Ensemble, influenced by Sufi, Kurdish and Persian classical music traditions, performs powerful rhythms and haunting melodic works incorporating the poetry of Mevlana (Rumi). Founded in 1980 by musician and composer Kaykhosro Pournazeri, Shams was the first group to compose music specifically for the ancient Kurdish tanbur lute.
The award-winning Shams Ensemble has performed over hundreds of concerts in Iran and around the world and recorded many best-selling albums. In 2007, Shams Ensemble performed with whirling dervishes from Konya, Turkey for four sold-out nights in Tehran’s renowned Royal Palace, Saadabad; these performances marked the first Sufi concerts performed in Iran and attracted national and international attention.
Hidden in Heart (2012)
the Land of Love (2013)
Sewi Sour (2013)
the Land of Sun (2013)
Kaykhosro Pournazeri, born in Kermanshah (Iran), studied music under master musicians Ostad Vaziri and Darvish Khan. He began his university studies in engineering, but soon realized his musical interests were stronger and left engineering to start music training at the Department of Fine Arts at Tehran University.
In 1971, he began working at the Department of Culture and Art, studying and recording Kurdish music, and directing orchestras of both Kurdish and Persian traditional music. After the Iranian revolution he started to exclusively research the sacred, little-known tanbur, and began composing modern classical Persian music for it.
The establishment of the Shams Ensemble in 1980 by Kaykhosro was a turning point in the development of modern classical Persian music, combining a deep understanding of the music and the spiritual meaning of the tanbur with the poetry of Rumi and the daf frame drum.
Through the Shams School of Music that he founded, Kaykhosro has taught numerous students.