14th National Festival of Youth Music wraps up 

October 31, 2020 - 18:16

TEHRAN – Winners of the 14th National Festival of Youth Music were announced during a closing ceremony, which went online at Vahdat Hall in Tehran on Friday.

The ceremony began with a message from Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi, read by host Abbas Salehi and streamed online at the Instagram account of the Iran Music Association.

About 2400 musicians and singers competed in the three sections of classics, regional and dastgahi.

The word dastgah in the Persian language means “system”, as well as “equipment”. The suffix “-gah” signifies a place of doing something. Here, dastgah is used in two different senses: First, dastgah signifies the totality of melodies of a certain musical system, e.g. dastgah-e Shur consists of Shur, Abuata, Bayat-e Tork, Afshari, Dashti and their related gushehs. Second, the word refers to the frets on a stringed instrument. Dast means “hand”, hence dastgah literally denotes “the place of the hand.”

Next, the message of the veteran tar virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh, who is also a jury member, went on stream. 

Alizadeh expressed thanks to the Iran Music Association, which made efforts to hold the festival despite the hard days of the battle with the coronavirus.

“I am happy that the competitors had made good progress for the final stage in a short period of time, and that is why we selected more than three winners in some of the sections because of the good number of performers,” he said.

“I also believe those musicians who found ways into the final stage are winners. The main goal behind this festival is encouraging the youth to take part and gain experience. I also noticed that in the creativity section, there were good competitors and I believe we need to develop this section,” he remarked.

The secretary of the festival Hooman Asa’di also present at the closing ceremony, said that this year the organizers received more submissions compared to the previous editions of the festival, indicating more hope to life and the future.

According to the Iran Music Association director Ali Sabetnia, the festival covered 140 different branches of music, and the judges watched numerous performances submitted by the young musicians from different cities. 

Jury member Azin Movahhednia had already said that the young musicians made their best efforts to have more concentration on their works during the pandemic, something that could be considered a good achievement for the festival.

Alizadeh also had already said that that Iranian music has not experienced good growth compared with the classics. “In Iran, there is still a lack of good cooperation between academies and universities in the field of Iranian music. We need to make better use of Iranian music with good education.”

Photo: This picture shows the trophies being awarded at the National Festival of Youth Music.