Hormoz Farhat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hormoz Farhat
Hormoz farhat.jpg
Background information
OriginTehran, Iran
GenresClassical music
Contemporary classical music
Occupation(s)Composer, ethnomusicologist, professor of music

Hormoz Farhat (Persian: هرمز فرهت‎, born 9 August 1930) is a Persian-American[1] composer, ethnomusicologist and emeritus professor of music, a fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.[2]


Born in Tehran, Persia/Iran, Farhat started to study violin with Vahe Djingouzian in Tehran but later moved to the United States and received a BA in music from the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA (1953), an MA in composition from Mills College, California (1955), and a Ph.D. in composition and ethnomusicology from UCLA (1965). He studied composition with Darius Milhaud, Lukas Foss, and Roy Harris.

In 1959, Farhat founded the Music of Persia Performance Group at UCLA.[3] During his years in California Farhat worked first as an assistant professor of music at California State University, Long Beach (1961–64) and then as associate professor of music at University of California, Los Angeles (1964–69).

On returning to Iran[4] he became a professor and head of the music department at the University of Tehran,[5] (1970–78) as well as the head of the Music Council in the National Iranian Radio and Television Network (1969–78) and Shiraz Arts Festival. He was vice chancellor at Farabi University in Tehran (1975–77). In 1972 and 1973, he was invited as a visiting professor of music to Harvard University.

Farhat moved to Northern Ireland in 1979 as a senior research fellow at Queen's University, Belfast and then to the Republic of Ireland as the chair, professor and head of the School of Music in Trinity College Dublin (1981–95).[6] He has been a guest lecturer at numerous institutions including universities of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana; Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Durham, Amsterdam, Cologne, Warsaw, Ljubljana, Copenhagen, Stockholm and The Smithsonian Institution[7] in Washington D.C. He has been the external examiner at the University of Durham School of Music (1991–1994) and the Royal Irish Academy of Music (2001–2004 and 2011–2014).

Hormoz Farhat is married to the academic philosopher Maria Baghramian.


His compositions have been performed widely by, among many others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra[8] and most recently by the pianist Soheil Nasseri in Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall in New York[9] as well as in the Strathmore Music Center.[10]

Selected compositions[edit]

Orchestral works

  • Sinfonia Concertante, for seven solo instruments, soprano and orchestra
  • Mazandarani, a rhapsody for orchestra
  • Theme and Variations
  • Sinfonietta
  • Three Songs of Sa'di, for soprano and orchestra
  • Fantasy and Fugue, for string orchestra
  • Concerto Grosso, for piano and string orchestra
  • Flute Concerto
  • Clarinet Concerto
  • Sougue, elegy for orchestra
  • Nouveau rivage and La Nuit éternelle, two orchestral pieces after the poem "Le Lac" of Alphonse de Lamartine.[11]

Chamber music

  • 6 string quartets
  • 3 wind trios
  • Duo for Violin and Viola
  • Divertimento for Saxophone Quartet
  • Piano Quintet
  • Partita for Wind Quintet

Piano music

  • Theme and Variations
  • Persian Suite (4 pieces)
  • 2 Sonatas[12]
  • Four Suites
  • Four Concert Études
  • 24 Essays
  • Five Bagatelles

Vocal music

  • Two Songs on Poems by Sa'di, for soprano, violin and harp (1957)
  • Be Yad-e Neyshapur; a "chain" of seven songs on Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1959)
  • Three Persian Songs, for soprano, flute, cello and piano (1962)
  • several pieces for a cappella choir

Motion picture scores Scores for feature films by prominent Iranian film directors Dariush Mehrjui: Gaav (The Cow, 1969), Postchi (Postman), and Aagha-ye Haaloo (Mr. Naive, 1970); and Nasser Taghvai: Aaraamesh dar hozoor-e digaraan (Tranquility in the Presence of Others, 1972); and Saadegh Kordeh (Sadeq the Kurdish, 1973). In 1970, Farhat was awarded The Golden Plaque for Best Music for the score of Mehrjui's internationally acclaimed film Gaav.[13]

Selected publications[edit]


  • Divertimento for Saxophone Quartet (Chicago: Leblanc Music Publishers, 1966).
  • The Traditional Art Music of Iran (Tehran: Ministry of Culture and Arts Press, 1973).
  • Counterpoint (Tehran: University of Tehran Press, 1974).
  • The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).[14]
  • Dastgah dar Musiqi-ye Irani (a Persian translation by Mehdi Pur-Mohammad of The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music)[15] (Tehran: Part Press, 2002).
  • Rhapsody Mazandarani for Orchestra (Amsterdam: Persian Dutch Network, 2020).[16]


  • "Old and New Values in Changing Cultural Patterns", in Iran: Past, Present and Future (Aspen Institute, 1976).[17]
  • 64 articles in the Persian encyclopaedia Daerattomaaref (Tehran: -e Farsi, 1976).
  • The article on Iran in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London: MacMillan, 1980).
  • "Scales and Intervals: Theory and Practice", in Irish Musical Studies, ed. Gerard Gillen and Harry White (Blackrock Co. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1990).
  • Ten articles in Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. E. Yarshater.
  • "Western Influences on Persian Music", in Muzikolski Zbornik (Musicological Annual) XVII (Ljubljana, 1991).
  • "The Evolution of Style and Content in Performance Practices of Persian Traditional Music", in: Muzikoloski Zbornik (Musicological Annual) XXXIII (Ljubljana, 1997).[18]
  • "Music" (a critical review of all articles on music in Encyclopaedia Iranica), in Iranian Studies, 1998.[19]
  • 7 articles in the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London: MacMillan, 2001).

Selected recordings[edit]

  • String Quartets, Nos. 1, 2 & 3: St Petersburg String Quartet & Arvand String Quartet (Ravi-Azar-Kimia Institute, 2007).
  • Persian Autumn (piano work): Mary Dullea, piano (Divine Arts, 2020).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Present past: Notes from the Life of a Persian/American Composer". Ibex. 27 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Hormoz Farhat". 27 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Highlights from the Ethnomusicology Archive: Music of Persia ensemble". UCLA. 12 May 2014.
  4. ^ Persian, B. B. C. "به عبارت دیگر: گفتگو با هرمز فرهت".
  5. ^ "BBCPersian.com".
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Persepholis: Discovering the Music of Iran @www.classicalsource.com".
  9. ^ "Speed and Mideast Echoes Add to a Pianist's Palette". The New York Times. 8 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Pianist Soheil Nasseri, brooding over Beethoven at Music Center at Strathmore". washingtonpost.com. 8 June 2010.
  11. ^ "BBC - (none) - Performance on 3 - BBC Symphony Orchestra".
  12. ^ Dublin, Trinity College. "Music Composition Centre : Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland".
  13. ^ "Cinema Celebrities (English)".
  14. ^ "The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music".
  15. ^ Farhat, Hormoz (8 July 2004). The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521542065.
  16. ^ ""Rhapsody Mazandarani" for Orchestra: New Publication from Persian Dutch Network". PDN.
  17. ^ "Search Results - "Iran: past, present and future" - EconBiz".
  18. ^ Farhat, Hormoz (1 January 1997). The evolution of style and content in performance practices of Persian traditional music. 33. pp. 81–89. ISBN 9780521542067. OCLC 444316548.
  19. ^ Farhat, Hormoz (1 January 1998). "Music". Iranian Studies. 31 (3/4): 561–570. doi:10.1080/00210869808701932. JSTOR 4311189.