Hossein Alizadeh praises Ali Rahbari for “My Mother Persia”

May 20, 2018 - 18:42

TEHRAN – The virtuoso of the Persian stringed instruments, Hossein Alizadeh, has praised Ali (Alexander) Rahbari for performing his composition “My Mother Persia” along with the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra.

Alizadeh was Rahbari’s special guest at the performance held at Aspendos Hall in Antalya on April 27. Iranian vocalist Mohammad Motamedi accompanied his fellow conductor during the concert. 

“I had both a good feeling and was very homesick,” Alizadeh told reporters during a press conference in Tehran on Saturday.

“It’s a cliché that today musicians are commissioned in the country to create songs on our homeland, but Rahabari is a great artist who performed a song about his homeland in a place that was not his homeland,” he said.

“The audience, composed mostly of Turkish and non-Iranians, gave him a standing ovation,” he added.

“Rahbari needed to do something about his love for his homeland, but unfortunately, conditions were not set for it in Iran,” he lamented.

In 2004, just a year before the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential election, Rahbari was invited from Austria to reorganize the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, but he quit the following year over the low salaries paid to the musicians. 

In 2013, after Rouhani won the presidential election, he asked cultural officials to reinstate the Iranian symphony orchestras, which were closed down by the government under Ahmadinejad. 

As a result in March 2015, Rahbari was assigned once again to restore the orchestra. However, he resigned his position as conductor in protest over a decision by the Rudaki Foundation to set up a center with the assigned task of managing the Tehran Symphony Orchestra and National Orchestra.     

Alizadeh said the cultural officials lacked an understanding of Rahbari’s values, therefore they made no effort to convince him to stay in Iran. 

In 2014, Alizadeh declined to accept the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor award, the highest decoration awarded by the French government, stating that he doesn’t need decorations and that he derives satisfaction from his good name.

In an open letter published a week before, Rahbari asked Alizadeh to reject the French decoration.

Rahbari called the frequent commemorations of Iranian luminaries by the French embassy “an epidemic of Chevalier” and said, “The value that the Iranian people place on Mr. Alizadeh is not comparable with any domestic or foreign medal.” 

Photo: Tar virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh performs during a concert at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on May 8, 2018. (Honaronline/Hassan Motahhari)

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