Hafez Nazeri

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Hafez Nazeri
حافظ ناظری
حافز نازری
Born 1979
Origin Tehran, Iran
Genres Persian music
Occupation(s) Composer
Instruments Setar, Tanbour, Daf
Years active Since 1988

Hafez Nazeri (Persian: حافظ ناظری‎) (Sorani Kurdish: حافز نازری) is an Iranian composer of Kurdish descent. He is the son of musician Shahram Nazeri.

Move to North America[edit]

The venues of Hafez's performances in North America included Los AngelesKodak Theatre - the most highly attended Persian classical music concert outside of Iran – the Atlanta Symphony Hall and traveled to San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Hafez’s international appeal led to several invitations to speak at various media outlets, including radio stations such as KPBS, KPFK, KPFA, UC Berkeley Radio and NPR in the United States.

Broadcast interviews include a 9-minute on CNN’s Live From with Kyra Phillips (March 29, 2006), BBC World Service’s program, The Ticket with Mark Coles (4/26/06), a live appearance on the Fox Channel (March 10, 2006), and an exclusive on ABC News, following a recent New York performance.

Hafez is also the recipient of a UCLA creativity award for most distinguished young composer[citation needed]. The Irvine City Hall Award of Distinction in Kurdish music was given to Hafez Nazeri for his contributions in spreading Rumi’s spiritual message of peace through the language of music[citation needed]. The United Nations Association also recognized Hafez’s contributions and his innovation in undertaking the “In the Path of Rumi” tour[citation needed].

February 25, 2006 was named “Hafez Nazeri Day” in San Diego County by the Mayor and the Chairman of San Diego’s Board of Supervisors[citation needed]. Soon after, he received a recognition award from the United States Congress[citation needed] and was invited to lecture at Emory University[citation needed], and Harvard University[citation needed], where he was recognized for his pioneering efforts and innovation in Persian music.

In 2007, the Rumi Symphony Project, which is Hafez’s most passionate and ambitious undertaking to date, culminated in a major work to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Rumi’s birth. Deepak Chopra translated Rumi's poems for Nazeri's recording and wrote an introduction to the work.[1] The project was premiered in Los Angeles where it received nine standing ovations.[2]

Rumi Symphony Project: Untold[edit]

In March, 2014, Nazeri released Rumi Symphony Project: Untold, a chart-topping album featuring 38 Grammy Award-winning musicians.[3] The result of over 5000 hours of recording studio work, Untold is an attempt to represent the splendor of all creation. Steeped in both the improvisatory tradition of his native Iran and Western classical music’s rich harmonic structures, Nazeri takes a boundary-crossing approach, balancing the two and forging a “new sonic universe” altogether.[4]

In the words of the composer, "Untold is the first cycle of my Rumi Symphony Project and portrays the story of our universe from the dawn of time until the very end, through my eyes. It is composed of four distinct chapters that represent the cycles of our existence, and our journey through the seven stages of enlightenment.[5]

The Hafez (musical instrument)[edit]

Featured throughout Untold is the Hafez, an instrument designed by Nazeri himself, which is a contemporary variation on the traditional Setar (Iranian long-necked lute). By adding two lower-pitched strings, Nazeri enriched the sound of the instrument (traditionally player in a monophonic fashion), allowing it to play both harmonic and melodic roles within its extended range.[6]

Released works[edit]

Controversial Sidelines of Hafez Nazeri's Activities[edit]

After the release of Hafez Nazeri's first album and the publication of his claims regarding his musical activities and education in the U.S., Sadjad Pourghanad was the first person to criticize him in HarmonyTalk journal. With the publication of Hafez Nazeri's second album, Hooshang Kamkar published his open letter in which he had severely criticized Hafez' composition and his propaganda for his work in Shargh Newspaper.[7]

Thought he had scheduled a live presentation of Untold in Iran for September 2014,[8] the concert had to be cancelled due to foreign players being denied the necessary visa to enter the country.[9]


External links[edit]