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Mohammad Reza Shajarian

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Mash'had, Iran (1940 – present)

Mohammad-Rezā Shajariān (Persian: محمدرضا شجريان) (born September 23, 1940 in Mash’had, Iran) is a legendary and critically acclaimed singer, composer and Ostad (master) of Persian music. He has been called “Iran’s greatest living master of music”. In Persian classical music, singing is the most difficult art to master and Shajarian is the embodiment of the perfect singer and a major source of inspiration. Shajarian is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy, and humanitarian activities.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian began singing spiritual songs at the age five under the supervision of his father. Only a few years later his precocious talent was to be renowned throughout the town of Mashhad. In spite of his religious upbringing, at the age of twelve he was familiarizing himself with the traditional song repertoire and the first piece he was to sing was the Gham-Angiz Goosheh of Dashti. He was also interested at the same time in popular music from Khorasan and the other regions of Iran. His focus at first was on the local folk music of his native province, Khorasan, but later at the age of twelve he studied the traditional repertoire, the . After college, he became a schoolteacher and was to find himself at much greater liberty to study all forms of Persian traditional music and gradually relinquish religious singing. What follows is a resume of the major landmarks in Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s artistic career. On the arrival in Teheran he met Ahmad Ebadi, the great Setar master who was sole heir to the musical tradition upheld by his family.

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