Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra concert to celebrate 30 years of Iran-Croatia diplomatic relations

February 22, 2022 - 18:23

TEHRAN – The 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Iran and Croatia will be celebrated by a concert, which will be performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Zarathustra Spitama”, a symphonic poem composed by Iranian maestro Ali (Alexander) Rahbari who is also the conductor of the orchestra, will be performed during the concert, which will be held on March 4 at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb.

Iranian vocalist Reza Fekri will sing a tenor solo accompanied by the Ivan Filipovic Chamber Choir.

Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra director Mirko Boch met Iranian Ambassador Parviz Esmaeili on Monday to finalize the arrangements for the concert, the Iranian Embassy in Zagreb announced.

Due to the Persian language of the concert and the Iranian musicians in the concert, Esmaeili called the program unique and said, “It gives me great pleasure that the celebration for the Iran-Croatia 30 years of diplomatic relations starts with a cultural event.” 

Earlier on October 23, 2020, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra also performed “Zarathustra Spitama” to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

In a statement for the concert, Rahbari referred to “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical 1883–1885 novel, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, and said, “Regarding the two greats, Nietzsche and Strauss, I did not dare to compose music inspired by the words of Zarathustra until in 2018.

“Mr. Barbad Bayat encouraged me to deal with the words of the great Zarathustra, which ultimately spawned this symphony inspired by Persian music, and after much effort and thorough research, I finally composed an exceptional and extremely melodious symphonic poem about Zarathustra for tenor, choir and symphony orchestra. 

“Spitama is actually the surname of a Zoroastrian family. After finishing the song, I decided to present it to the Croatian people who boast of their Persian origins. My wife, with whom I have four children, is also a Croat and they were all delighted with my decision.

“I would also like to express my satisfaction that this is happening during the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Zagreb Philharmonic, which I conducted for many years, and for two years I was its chief conductor, and the members of the orchestra were extremely close to my heart.”

Photo: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra in an undated photo.


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