Nezhat Amiri, Iranian woman conductor, in rare public performance in Tehran

Posted on: February 21, 2018

“In her 38-year career, which is as long as the history of the Islamic republic, Iran’s first and only female conductor had led as many public performances as the number of fingers that hold her baton,” writes Saeed Kamali Dehghan in Tuesday’s (2/20) Guardian (U.K.). “Last month, however, Nezhat Amiri conducted a 71-member orchestra performing at Tehran’s most prestigious concert hall—a remarkable milestone in a country where it is considered taboo for state TV to show musical instruments, women are not allowed to sing solo and female musicians have been prevented from going on stage in provincial cities…. Amiri’s performance, part of the annual state Fajr music festival, brought 55 musicians and a 16-member choir—with women making up almost half of both groups—on stage for two hours, to play three pieces by masters of Persian classical music…. It was Amiri’s first performance on such a large scale in 12 years…. Under the current moderate administration of President Hassan Rouhani, the Tehran Symphony Orchestra—previously disbanded—has been revived…. Despite the challenges, Amiri says …, ‘You live because you have hope. Sometimes you know you’ll be defeated, but you make the effort anyway.’ ”

Posted February 21, 2018

Photo of Nezhat Amiri by Alireza Ramezani