Tag Archives: tanbur

Artist Profiles: Hafez Nazeri

Hafez Nazeri

Hafez Nazeri is one of Iran’s most influential and admired new composers. Son of the legendary musician Shahram Nazeri, Hafez began voice lessons at the age of three, where his brilliance became evident as he gained the first place in many voice competitions.

At the age of seven, he studied the ancient instruments of Tanbur and Setar (two types of Persian lutes). Thereafter, Hafez became intrigued by the Daf, a percussion instrument, which he self-taught creating a unique technique now emulated by many of Iran’s young Daf players. His serious study of voice and Setar continued into the development of his own distinctive polyphonic combination of voice and instrumentation. He is considered to have extended the technique of Setar playing, and has received praise from Setar players and craftsmen alike.

By the age of nine, Hafez had already begun to perform alongside his father in many of European and the Middle-Eastern most prestigious music festivals. At the age of sixteen he had already performed at festivals such as of The Sfinks Festival in Belgium, Festa del Popolo in Italy; Theatre de la Ville in Paris and Beiteddine Festival in Lebanon.

In the year 2000, Hafez assembled a talented group of young performers called The Rumi Ensemble. The group performed Hafez’s original musical compositions in a series of landmark concerts in twenty Iranian cities. Record-breaking audiences attended sold out performances, which were praised for their novel approach to orchestration, harmony and mode. These musical innovations not only reached younger audiences, many of whom were newly attracted to Persian classical music, but also deeply influenced the musical scenes in Iran and beyond. Selected pieces from the tour were preformed by The Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in London?s Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as by other musicians in various musical festivals throughout the world, such as Sweden and the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, and many other festivals.

Hafez’s international appeal led to many invitations to speak at various media outlets including many radio stations such as KPBS, KPFK, KPFA, UC Berkeley Radio and NPR in the United States.

In 2005, Hafez, along with new members of his Rumi Ensemble, launched a vastly successful North American tour called In the Path of Rumi, which began with a sold out performance at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles followed by a first-time performance at Irvine’s City Hall.

In the midst of the tour, Hafez received many accolades and awards for his ground-breaking approach to traditional Persian music. With the Rumi Ensemble, Hafez aspired to create a world view of traditional Persian music, assembling artists from four different nationalities, and pioneering a new style of music, which he calls Post-Classical Persian Music.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) together with the Iranian Student Group has honored Hafez with the Distinguished Young Composer Award for his creativity and innovation in music. The Kurdish American Education Society under the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO,) and A.I.P.A. have given Hafez awards of recognition for innovations in Persian traditional composition. Irvine City Hall has presented him with an honor in recognition of his efforts in introducing the music of Rumi abroad.

After his concert in San Diego, the Mayor and the Chairman of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, for the first time in the history of Persian Music in a major US cosmopolitan city, declared the day of the concert, February 25th, 2006 as Hafez Naferi Day throughout San Diego County.

He has been interviewed and has performed live on major national US TV stations such as CNN, during Live from CNN program in Atlanta, and Fox channel 5.

He received a recognition award from the Congress of the United States for his musical achievements, and has also been invited for a lecture to Harvard University and was given a Recognition Award for his endeavors in introducing Rumi to the west and for his innovations in Persian music.

Hafez has completed his studies in Composition and Conducting from New York’s Mannes College of Music, and is interested in building a musical bridge between eastern and western cultures.


Mythical Chant – Naghmeha-ye Sassani (2004)
The Passion of Rumi (Quartertone Productions, 2008)
Rumi Symphony Project: Untold (Sony Classical, 2014)
Saghi Nameh (Taraneh Records)


Artist Profiles: Ali Akbar Moradi

Ali Akbar Moradi

Ali Akbar Moradi, from Kermanshah is the extraordinary tanbur player from Kurdistan of Iran. He has a unique style that sets him apart from other players of this ancient instrument. He’s a leading composer, teacher and a consummate performer of the sacred Kurdish music of Iran.

He has won many awards including two honorary diplomas at major music festivals in Iran. Moradi has performed as a soloist and with ensembles in festivals throughout the world.


Fire of Passion, Kurdish Tanbur Music of Iran (1999)
Kurdaneh (2001)
Whisper (Kereshme, 2001)
Kurdish Music from Iran (Naive, 2002)
In The Mirror Of The Sky, with Kayhan Kalhor (World Village, 2004)
Goblet of Eternal Light (Traditional Crossroads, 2012)


Artist Profiles: Kaykhosro Pournazeri

Kaykhosro Pournazeri

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.


Mystified – Poetry of Rumi: Sufi Music of Iran (Quartertone Records, 1997)
Afsaneh-e Tanbour (2011)
Nishteman (2012)
Mastan (2012)
Hidden in Heart (2012)
The Land of Sun (2013)
Raindrops (2015)


Labyrinth Musical Workshop in Crete Announces Summer Seminar Program 2016

Labyrinth Musical Workshop, one of the most respected series of seminars and master classes in Europe, has announced its Summer Seminar Program 2016. The workshops target musicians of all levels who wish to study the modal musical traditions of the world.

Labyrinth is located in Crete (Greece) in the picturesque mountain village Houdetsi 20 kms from the capital city of Heraklion.

In addition to helping students learn the necessary technical and theoretical skills of each musical idiom, the seminars and master-classes encourage students to come closer to the spirit of the tradition they are studying, and to eventually enter into this world where musical language is just one of many other intertwining elements.

Throughout the seminars, teachers and students become part of one big “parea” (company in Greek). Aside from the time spend in the classes, teachers and students play music together, eat together, talk about matters of common interest, share stories etc.

Summer Seminar Program 2016

June 13-18, 2016

Efrén López – Music Group, An introduction to Modal Music.

June 20-25, 2016

Efrén López – Hurdy Gurdy (zanfona)

Giorgis Manolaki – Bouzouki

Ross Daly – The structure & phrasing of Makams

June 27- July 2, 2016

Ido Segal – Improvisation in North Indian classical music

Ciro Montanari – Tabla and the rhythmic cycles of North India

Giorgis Xylouris – A journey into Cretan music

July 4-9, 2016

Evgenios Voulgaris – Yayli Tanbur & Makam

Murat Aydemir – Tanbur Through The Ages

Patrizia Bovi / Peppe Frana – Medieval Music

Pavlos Spyropoulos/Theodora Athanasiou – Accompaniment in modal music

July 11-16, 2016

Martha Mavroidi – Motif & Rhythm

Senih Űndeğer – Turkish style violin

Muhittin Kemal Temel – Ali Ufki, Dimitri Kantemir and 17th century Ottoman Music

Manos Ahalinotopoulos – Modal music in the world of the Greek clarinet

July 18-23, 2016

Tigran Aleksanyan – Armenian Duduκ

George Papaioannou – Violin 2nd Part

Uğur Önür – The music & instruments of the nomads of South West Anatolia

Yiorgos Mavromanolakis – Oud for less advanced students

July 25-30, 2016

Kourosh Ghazvineh – Kurdish Makam with Tanbur

Arslan Hazreti – Kamancha

Ivan Varimezov – Gaida, Balkan rhythms and repertoire

Tzvetanka Varimezova – Bulgarian choral singing

August 1-6, 2016

Hooshang Farahani – Iranian Tar & Radif

Daud Khan Sadozai – Afghan rabab

Periklis Papapetropoulos – CİHAN TÜRKOĞLU- Saz

Djamshid & Bijan Chemirani – Τhe poetry of rhythm

August 8-13, 2016

Yurdal Tokcan- Turkish Oud (Master Class)

Göksel Baktagir – Kanun

Eleonore Billy – Nyckelharpa

Christos Barbas – Music Group: The Instrument as a Voice

August 15-20, 2016

Ahmet Erdoğdular – Classical Ottoman Singing

Ömer Erdoğdular – Ney

Derya Türkan – Kemençe

Periklis Papapetropoulos – Lavta

August 22-27, 2016

Ross Daly – Modal composition

Kelly Thoma – Lyra with sympathetic strings

George Papaioannou – Violin 1st part

Adel Sαlameh – Arabic Oud

August 29- September 3, 2016

Zohar Fresco – Frame Drums (Master Class)

Harris Laμbrakis – Rhythmic improvisation

Vagelis Karipis – Percussion in Greek tradition, Rhythms & Techniques

Peppe Frana – A modal perspective

Anna-Maria Hefele – Over-tone singing (Master Class)

September 5-10, 2016

Zacharis Spyridakis – Cretan Lyra

Michalis Kontaxakis – Cretan Mandolin

Giorgis Manolakis – Cretan Laouto

Fragiskos Baltzakis – Askomantoura

More information at http://www.labyrinthmusic.gr/en