Playing to an empty room tough experience: Iranian conductor Qorbani

January 24, 2021 - 18:59

TEHRAN – Ali-Akbar Qorbani, who conducted the Orchestra of National Instruments during a concert at Tehran’s empty Vahdat Hall on Thursday, said the performance without an audience was a really tough experience.

Vocalists Vahid Taaj and Rashid Vatandoost accompanied Qorbani in the concert, which was performed in the two sections of Iranian and Azerbaijani music with compositions from Ali-Naqi Vaziri, Hossein Dehlavi, Farhad Fakhreddini and several other renowned composers.

“The orchestra did not have a performance for about a year due to the pandemic, however, we decided to hold the online concert,” he said.

“This was the first time we went on stage without an audience, and it was a different experience. When musicians go on stage, they make contact with the audience. The audience always adds additional passion to the performance, but the online concert was void of such feeling, something that made it a tough job for us,” he said. 

He further noted that he believes if the coronavirus restrictions and lockdown remain in effect, they must be practiced for all activities.

“Some activities still continue and some, like theater, music and cinema, are shut down. All public transportations are packed with people. Something needs to be done for music,” he said.

“I know both types of online and physical performances require their special facilities. But physical concerts make it easier for us and help music and art stay alive,” he said.

“However, online concerts are also good for those do not live in Tehran or those who do not live in the country,” he added. 

He hoped that musicians and theatrical figures would be supported because they have experienced the most damages.

“If music is not supported, we will surely witness the most serious damages,” he concluded.

Vocalist Salar Aqili and his ensemble, who went on stage at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall in July and performed to an empty auditorium, believed it was a really tough experience.

“It is very difficult for me to give a concert without an audience. This is the first time I am doing this but I must say that the audience is always in my heart,” Aqili had said before his performance.

A noteworthy point was that the concert was performed on a stage where the empty seats in the hall served as a constant reminder of the coronavirus days.

Photo: Ali-Akbar Qorbani conducts the Orchestra of National Instruments during a rehearsal at Tehran’s Rudaki Hall.


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