Mortazavi performing at a concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008
November 16, 1957 |
Fereydun Kenar, Mazandaran, Iran
Percussive & ethnic instruments
|White handmade violin|
Born in the city of Babol, capital of Babol County, Iran, Mortazavi studied music in Tehran. He was trained in improvisation, orchestration, arrangement, quarter tone technique, and dastgah by various well-known violinists in Iran.
Mortazavi started learning the violin under the supervision of Masoud Namazian when he was three years old. At the age of seven, he started playing the piano, guitar, percussion, and folk string instruments such as oud, tar, and santur.
Mortazavi won his first prize at the age of eleven in a national music contest among students of all ages in Iran. He was fourteen when he conducted a 32-person orchestra, performing his own compositions and arrangements at the Ramsar Summer Camp in Iran.
After graduating from high school, Mortazavi moved to the United Kingdom. There, he pursued his academic interest in the field of civil engineering while continuing to train and perform on the violin.
In 1977, Mortazavi moved to the United States, continued his music education at Texas State University and eventually settled in California in 1985. There he started composing and arranging music for Iranian pop singers. He composed many songs for the Iranian singer Moein and played the violin in his concerts. He released his first album, Bijan Mortazavi: His Music and His Songs, in 1990. It became a best-seller among Persian albums that year.
After the release of his album Bijan Mortazavi 3, which featured Mortazavi's talents as a violinist and singer, his next album, Fire on Ice (Instrumental), was a combination of Persian-style violin and new-age instrumental music. He released two more albums in 1999 and 2001.
In 2004 Bijan released the album Ye Ghatreh Darya, an upbeat dance album that included a Kordish style dance-music, rhythm and circle-dance track titled "Ronak". The album has been played at many Persian weddings and parties.
His 2006 album, Be Man Che, featured lyrics written by the Iranian poet Iraj Janatie Ataie, who has written lyrics for Iranian pop singers such as Ebi and Dariush. Ataie himself declaimed the poetic lyrics at the beginning of the title track.
Since the album Fire on Ice, Mortazavi's albums have been a combination of instrumental and vocal pieces. What sets him apart from other performers is his ability to personally play all the instruments used in his arrangements.
On November 16, 2010, his latest album (Music and I) was released.
Mortazavi always uses a white, handmade violin in his performances. "I like to play my white violin because to me white represents peace and friendship", Mortazavi said in a TV interview.
Since 1990, international tours have brought Mortazavi to sold-out audiences throughout the world. In 1995 he was the first Iranian artist to be sponsored by the Chrysler Corporation.
Greek Theatre and other venues
On July 3, 1994, Bijan Mortazavi performed his music with an orchestra at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, becoming the first Iranian musician to be featured at the theatre. One of the pieces he played during this concert, entitled "Epic", had been written by him when he was eleven years old. A video of the concert has been released as Bijan Live at the Greek Theatre.
Bijan has performed in other big venues around the world, among them the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, the Gibson Amphitheater (aka Universal Amphitheater) in Universal City, California, the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and Highland Center, the Royal Albert Hall, Equinox and Le Palace in London, the Ford Center and Performing Arts Center in Toronto, Queen Elizabeth Auditorium in Vancouver, the Albert Hall in Copenhagen, the Nobel Concert Hall and Global Auditorium in Stockholm, and the Performing Arts Center and Civic Auditoriums in Australia's Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland in New Zealand.
On November 25, 2009, Bijan received his Fellowship (Phd) from the Southampton Solent University in Great Britain. His task is the development of contemporary middle eastern music in an academic form in United Kingdom and other western countries.
With Caltex Records
- 1990 – The Magic of Bijan Mortazavi: His Music and His Songs (Bijan Mortazavi 1)
- 1992 – Bijan Mortazavi 2
- 1994 – Bijan Mortazavi 3 (instrumental album)
- 1994 – Bijan Mortazavi 3 (vocal album)
- 1997 – Fire on Ice (instrumental album)
- 1997 – Fire on Ice (vocal album)
- 1999 – Sweet Scent of Love
- 2001 – Voice of Silence
- 2004 – Yeh Ghatreh Darya
- 2006 – Beh Man Cheh
- 2010 – Music and I
- 1994 – Bijan Live at the Greek Theatre
- 1994 – Bijan Live at the Greek Theatre
- 2003 – "Ye Ghatreh Darya" from the album Ye Ghatreh Darya
- 2003- "Gerye Konam Ya Nakonam" from the album Ye Ghatreh Darya
- 2003 – "Ronak" from the album Ye Ghatreh Darya
- 2003 – "Lavand" from the album Ye Ghatreh Darya
- 2003 – "Rainbow" from the album Ye Ghatreh Darya
- 2004 – Bijan in Concert
- 2005 – "Be man Che" from the album Be man Che
- 2005 – "Ey Maah" from the album Be man Che
- 2005 – "Kaash Mishod" from the album Be man Che
- 2005 – "Maa Hamoonim" from the album Be man Che
- 2010 – "Ax e Toa" from the album Music and I
- 2010 – "Man o Toee" from the album Music and I
- 2010 – "Noor o Booseh" from the album Music and I
- 2010 – "Da'vat" from the album Music and I
- 2011 – Animated video of "Moosighi o Man" from the album Music and I
- Iraj Janatie Ataie
- List of Iranian musicians
- List of Persian violinists
- Music of Iran
- Persian pop music
- Shadmehr Aghili