Artist Profiles: Hossein Omoumi

Hossein Omoumi – Photo by Marco Prozzo

Hossein Omoumi was born in 1944 in Isfahan, Iran, and commenced his musical education singing with his father. At age 14, he studied the ney, the traditional reed flute of Iran.

At the same time as he was studying architecture, Hossein was accepted as a tutorial student at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Tehran. He worked with maestros Mahmud Karimi and Farhad Fakhreddini, and subsequently went on to study with acclaimed ney master Hassan Kassaei.

His career as a performer has included appearances at many major festivals and concert halls in Europe and the United States.

A distinguished scholar and teacher of Persian music, he taught at the National Conservatory, Tehran University, and the Center for Preservation and Dissemination of Music in Tehran; the Center for Oriental Music Studies (CEMO) of Sorbonne University in Paris; and the ethnomusicology departments of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle.

Currently, he is the Maseeh Professor in Persian Performing Arts of Music at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He has done wide-ranging research on the ney and Iranian percussion, and arranged and composed lessons to teach the standards of classical Persian music under the title of ‘Pish Radif.’

The movie Classical Persian Music – Hossein Omoumi from Isfahan to Irvine, that documents his goal to make classical Persian music widely available, was released in 2017, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.


Persian Classical Music, with Sima Bina ‎(Nimbus Records, 1995)
Persian Classical Music, with Madjid Khaladj ‎(Nimbus Records, 1995)
Improvisation in the Mahour Mo, with Madjid Khaladj (Al Sur, 1996)
Tale Of Love I – Esfahan (QuarterTone, 1999)
Tale Of Love II – Nava (QuarterTone, 2003)
Sarmast – Trance of Devotion, with Madjid Khaladj ‎(Bâ Music Records, 2004)
Voices of Spring Avay – E Bahar (2009)
Earthly Exile (Mahoor Institute Of Culture & Arts, 2015)
Ateş-i Aşk, with Kiya Tabassian, and Ziya Tabassian (Z Ses Görüntü, 2016)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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