“For more than three decades, composer Behzad Ranjbaran has explored the connections between music and mysticism, drawing particularly from the Persian mythology of his native Iran,” writes Chris Kocher in Tuesday’s (4/14) Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.). “So when the Binghamton Philharmonic commissioned him to write a brand-new orchestral work—with no specific mandate given—Ranjbaran found inspiration from the biblical story of Esther, who uses bravery and cunning to save the Jews of Persia.” The 25-minute work, in three movements—“The Seven Trumpets of the Gates of Susa,” “The Enchanting Gardens of Susa,” and “The Morning Star”—will have its world premiere Saturday night. “Funding for the new piece came from a bequest by Dr. Ali Akbari, who was born in Iran and worked as a general practitioner in Greater Binghamton for many years.… Says Ranjbaran, ‘In the Jewish tradition, Esther’s name was Hadassah, which in some circles is considered the morning star. Esther is also a variation of Ishtar, which is a Persian goddess or the morning star.’ ” Born in Iran, Ranjbaran studied at Tehran Music Conservatory, moved to the U.S. in 1974, and attended Indiana University and the Juilliard School, where he serves on the faculty.
Posted April 16, 2015