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Northen California, Oakland East Bay Symphony Celebrates Persian Music

March 14, 2008
Friday, 8:00pm, Paramount Theatre, Oakland
Notes from Persia
Michael Morgan, Conductor

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Program: Pieces from Sergei Rachmaninoff and Aminollah Hossein

Richard Strauss
Don Juan (1889)

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934)
Tara Kamangar, piano

David Garner New Arrangements of
Persian Folk Songs and Melodies
with Raeeka Shehabi-Yaghmai, mezzo-soprano

Aminollah Hossein
Piano Concerto No. 2 (1946)
Tara Kamangar, piano

Loris Tjeknavorian
Suite from the opera Rostam and Sohrab (1985)

Ever since Western music was introduced to Iran in the mid-nineteenth century, Iranian composers have blended Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions. Due to the political turmoil of the past century, these works are often difficult to obtain and are thus rarely performed.

We'll devote the second half of our March concert to music from Persia, featuring classical pianist Tara Kamangar, who is currently at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She'll play the second piano concerto of celebrated Persian composer Aminollah Hossein, whose music is full of Persian melodies though he spent much of his life in exile.
Mezzo-soprano Raeeka Shehabi-Yaghmai will sing new arrangements by David Garner of Persian folk songs and melodies .

In our own blending of Western and Middle Eastern traditions, Ms. Kamangar will also perform Rachmaninoff's brilliant Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on the first half of the program, and we'll open the program with Strauss' romantic tone poem for orchestra, Don Juan .

"Tara's expressive playing will speak to listeners of any nationality."
BBC Persian

"[Shehabi-Yaghmai has a] warm sound and charismatic stage presence."
SF Gate

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