Conductor of Tehran Symphony Orchestra Shahrdad Rohani quits 

May 25, 2020 - 18:23

TEHRAN – Maestro Shahrdad Rohani has announced his decision to resign as the conductor of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in a post published on his Instagram on May 21.

Rohani, who has led some prestigious orchestras, including London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was appointed the conductor of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in May 2016.

“After four years of collaboration with the orchestra as the conductor and general music director of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, I hereby express my gratitude over having been able to serve the art and music of the country,” he wrote.

“I express my thanks to every member of the orchestra as well as the Rudaki Foundation for providing grounds for the expansion and elevation of music, and I hope the orchestra will continue its activities and achieve continued success in the coming years,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Rudaki Foundation published a statement expressing appreciation to Rohani. The foundation also said that Rohani is suffering from heart disease.

“The Tehran Symphony Orchestra, as the oldest orchestra of the country, has had the duty to elevate the music of the country in its 90-year-old life. All these years, the conductors have played a key role and each new conductor has had his own share in the elevation of the orchestra, whose names and memories have always been respected,” reads part of the statement released by the foundation on Sunday.

“However, the collaboration of Rohani has been halted due to his illness and finally his contract with the orchestra as the conductor and general music director has ended. The Rudaki Foundation expresses thanks to Rohani and hopes to make other use of his experiences and advice,” it concludes. 

In January, Rohani was said to be outside of Iran to receive treatment for heart disease, and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Manuchehr Sahbai gave a performance at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall.

However, in an unprecedented act before the beginning of the concert, Sahbai told the audience, “Despite what you have heard or read, Rohani had fled the country after the recent events and whatever you have read about his illness is a lie.”

Sahbai’s remarks were strongly criticized by the audience and the members of the orchestra refused to perform the second part of their concert.

However, after a long break, they agreed to resume their performance without Sahbai, who allegedly was transferred to a hospital due to repercussions caused by his disagreements with the musicians.

Photo: Shahrdad Rohani conducts the Tehran Symphony Orchestra during a performance at the 34th Fajr Music Festival in Tehran in February 2019. (Tehran Times/Bahman Vakhshur)

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