Persian Singing Legend Mohammad Reza Shajarian; Iran’s National Treasure in Toronto June 2008

Toronto, Canada – Persian classical singing master, Mohammad Reza Shajarian & Ava Ensemble will be performing Friday, June 6, at 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian is a living legend In Persian classical music, with one of the most recognizable voices in Iran–sweet, soulful, and dynamic. He is joined by his son and prodigy, Homayoun Shajarian who performs with a confidence and maturity beyond his years, and the Ava Ensemble, composed of top Iranian master musicians. Shajarian is regarded as a national treasure and is a major source of inspiration for musicians and music lovers. His singing is technically flawless, powerful, and emotional. In the music of Iran, traditional singing is the most difficult art to master, but Shajarian achieved this at a very early age.

Born in 1940 in the city of Mash’had in northeastern Iran, Mohammad Reza Shajarian began singing spiritual songs at the age five under the supervision of his father. Only a few years later his precocious talent was to be renowned throughout the town of Mash’had. His focus at first was on the local folk music of his native province, Khorasan (East Iran). At the age of 12 he was familiarizing himself with the traditional song repertoire, studying the the Radif, but he also became interested in popular music from Khorasan and the other regions of Iran.

Shajarian became a schoolteacher and was to find himself at much greater liberty to study all forms of traditional music and gradually relinquish religious singing. On his arrival in Teheran Shajarian met Ahmad Ebadi, the great Setar master who is today sole heir to the musical tradition upheld by his family. His meeting of the late Esmail Mehrtash was to initiate him in the fine nuances of traditional singing, in popular melodies and in artistic technique. He studied under some of the most highly reputed artists such as Reza Gholi Mirza Zelli, Ghamar-ol Molouk Vaziri, Eghbal-Soltan Azar, Taaj Esfahani Noor-Ali Khan Boroomand and Taher Zadeh Esfahani.


 Shajarian began playing the santur under the instructions of Jalal Akhbari to better understand and perform the traditional repertoire. In 1960, in order to improve his technique, became the pupil of the Santoor Maestro Faramarz Payvar which lead to his acquiring perfect interpretative skills as well as masterful execution on instrument phrases transposed for the voice. One of the more significant events in his life was his encounter with the great master Abdollah Khan Davami, who was to impart to him the most ancient Tasnifs (songs) and the authentic version of the Radif which had been passed onto him by the greatest masters of the previous century.

Rising to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing, he has since led an illustrious career that includes teaching at Tehran University’s department of Fine Arts (among other places), researching the musical arts of Iran, and working at the Iranian National Radio and Television. He has been performing regularly in Iran and throughout the world, and his performances have brought him universal acclaim and an eminent position among his compatriots.

Besides his tremendous musical talent, Shajarian has had a lifelong passion for Persian Calligraphy. Since 1967, he has practiced this art under the instruction of two Iranian master calligraphers, Ebrahim Buzari, and Hossein Mirkhani. At present, he is considered an accomplished calligrapher with his own distinct style.

Tickets: $49.50 – $69.50 @ 416 872-4255 /

Author: World Music Central News Department

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