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A Tour of Iran – Symphony Concert from Michael Christie and New West Symphony

A Tour of Iran is a four-day festival of events culminating in a symphony concert featuring the New West Symphony led by Music and Artistic Director Michael Christie. Exploring centuries old traditions of Iranian poetic and musical cultural influences on the western world, award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and Iranian instrumentalists Pejman Hadadi (tombak and daf) and Masoud Rezaei (setar) join the New West Symphony on this musical voyage. Michael Christie leads the orchestra in Western classical masterworks by Handel, Rameau, Gounod, and the timeless overture to Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Iranian composers Behzad Ranjbaran, Masoud Rezaei, and Golfam Khayam share their inspiration from Iranian sites and poetry.

Tickets include three additional programs featuring interviews and cultural context. All four programs will be available on-demand to ticket holders shortly after the initial broadcast ends.
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Pre-Concert Talk with David Ravetch
Presented Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6pm PT (not available on-demand)

The New West Symphony’s Pre-Concert Talk features UCLA Senior Lecturer, David Ravetch, who explores the music presented in the A Tour of Iran concert in an informative, audience-friendly format.

Culture Insights
Premieres Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7pm PT

In Culture Insights, the New West Symphony offers insights into Southern California – Iranian culture; demonstrations of traditional instruments and dance; and discussions about history, arts and music with distinguished guest artists including Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, a distinguished literary figure and Iranologist who has written dozens of books and hundreds of scholarly articles on poetry and language, Grammy – winning composer, musician and santur player Hamid Saedi, Executive Director of Farhang Foundation Alireza Ardekani, and award – winning choreographer Melieka Fathi.

Meet the Artists
Premieres Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7pm PT

This online edition of Meet the Artists is an expansion of a longstanding New West Symphony tradition that breaks the barrier between the stage and audience seats. Enjoy a combination of biography, artistry and insight into an artist’s process and talent. The guests of the Meet the Artists program include percussionist Pejman Hadidi, setar virtuoso Masoud Rezaei, and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.

A Tour of Iran Symphony Concert
Premieres Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 3pm PT
Michael Christie, conductor
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Pejman Hadadi, tombak and daf
Masoud Rezaei, setar

Khayam: Seven Valleys of Love for Strings (Simorgh, Murmuration)

Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute

Ranjbaran: Enchanted Garden: Joy

Rameau: Suite from Zoroastre

Handel: Xerxes: “Ombra mai fu”

Gounod: Faust: Entr’Acte | “Faites lui mes aveux” (Flower Song) | “Si le bonheur “(When fortune beckons)

Rezaei: Excerpts from Nothingness (2015 album)
“Another Birth” | “Cold Autumn” | “Failure”

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