Pacific Symphony celebrates Persian New Year

Posted on: March 19, 2012

In Sunday’s (3/18) Los Angeles Times, Steve Hochman previews the Pacific Symphony’s 2012 American Composers Festival. “This year’s theme is ‘Nowruz—Celebrating Spring,’ marking the Persian New Year and celebrating the prominent Iranian American community and its vast cultural legacy. There’s a world premiere of an oratorio by Iranian American composer Richard Danielpour and collaborations between the symphony and Persian music troupe the Shams Ensemble. And to kick off each of the first three nights in the four-day festival at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Iranian conductor Farhad Mechkat—a ‘distinguished hero,’ [Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl] St.Clair says, for his progressive efforts at the helm of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in the years leading to the 1979 Islamic revolution—is being flown in to lead the orchestra in a classic he handpicked for the event. … Danielpour’s ‘Toward a Season of Peace’ is a seven-movement oratorio in Hebrew, Farsi, Arabic, Aramaic and English, sung by soprano Hila Plitmann and the Pacific Chorale, capping the composer’s midlife reconciliation with, and exploration of, his Persian heritage. … Last year a conversation St.Clair had with Pacific Symphony board member Anoosheh Oskouian, of Persian origins, turned to discussion of Nowruz as a theme for an event tied to Southern California’s prominent Iranian culture and its rich musical history.” See more on the Pacific Symphony’s Nowruz celebration in the Symphony magazine story “Beyond the Melting Pot.”

Posted March 19, 2012