9 October 2020 - 11:00
Farewell Shajarian

Mohammad Reza Shajarian who enlivened Iran’s traditional music with his singing style died aged 80 from cancer.

Iran (IMNA) - In March 2016, Shajarian revealed to fans that he had been receiving treatment for kidney cancer for 15 years, both in Iran and abroad. Iran’s culture and health ministers at the time announced they would follow his case, underlining his importance.

After the revolution, it was Shajarian’s powerful voice on the radio that sang a prayer before sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. He sang it a cappella, like a call coming from a mosque minaret, with teeming emotion that raised goose bumps even through scratchy radio broadcasts. In sold-out concerts, fans pelted him with roses.

Shajarian was born in 1940 in the religious city of Mashhad, in north-west Iran. He had started singing as a child through reciting the Qur’an.

As he told NPR's Morning Edition in 2010, his father was very conservative and religious — and considered any music that wasn't Quranic recitation haram, or forbidden. But his uncle was a music lover and encouraged him to explore Persian classical and folk music.

By age 12, he was learning the rigorously structured repertoire of Persian classical music and its ancient songs. His professional career began in 1959 at Radio Khorasan; he went on to sing for Iranian state radio and television and to teach at Tehran University. His repertoire encompassed love songs and the mystical works of such great medieval Persian poets as Rumi and Hafez.

The Voice Of Iran, Master Singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian died at 80.

The Guardian


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