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                                        Volume. 11977

Officials join Iranian people in Lotfi’s cortege
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Iranian people attend the funeral procession of tar virtuoso Mohammadreza Lotfi in Tehran on May 4, 2014. (ISNA/Mehdi Qasemi)
Iranian people attend the funeral procession of tar virtuoso Mohammadreza Lotfi in Tehran on May 4, 2014. (ISNA/Mehdi Qasemi)
TEHRAN -- Iranian cultural officials joined thousands of mourners gathered in front of Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Sunday to attend tar virtuoso Mohammadreza Lotfi’s funeral procession.
 
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, Deputy Culture Minister for Artistic Affairs Ali Moradkhani, President Hassan Rouhani’s brother, Hossein Fereidun were among Lotfi’s fans and colleagues in the gathering.
 
“This vast crowd, which has gathered here, shows the Iranian people’s deep love for this prominent musician,” Jannati said in an address at the gathering.
 
“The reason for master Lotfi’s popularity was in his beliefs and his close relationships with people,” he added.
 
“He was one of the eternal figures of Iranian music and undoubtedly, it is his colleagues’ duty to follow him to achieve a level of popularity such as he enjoyed,” Jannati stated.
 
A number Lotfi’s friends addressed the crowd and musicians performed during the gathering.  
 
Afterwards, Lotfi was transferred to Gorgan to be buried in his hometown in the northeastern Iranian province of Golestan. 
 
The funeral ceremony will be held today and he will be buried in an urban area of the city. The Gorgan City Council plans to build a mausoleum for the great musician at the location.
 
Lotfi, who was also famous for his skills in improvisation, died of cancer at Tehran’s Pars Hospital on Friday at the age of 68. 
 
He had collaborated with prominent vocalists Mohammadreza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri, and maestros like Hossein Alizadeh, Parviz Meshkatian and Ali Akbar Shekarchi over his lifelong career.
 
In the late 1970s, they established Sheida and Chavosh, the bands which created “O Iran, the Land of Hope” and many other unforgettable works.
 
He married Qashang Kamkar, sister of the Kamkar brothers, a major musical family in Iran. He is survived by his son Omid.
 
MMS/YAW
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