Mohammad Reza Lotfi, a leading interpreter of traditional Persian music, will be making a rare North Carolina appearance on Sunday, May 25, 2003
At the Stewart Theater, North Carolina State University.
A virtuoso of the tar and setar (long-necked lutes), he will perform extended improvisations from the classical Persian repertoire - music that is highly ornamental and noted for it's poetic and spiritual qualities.
In some of Maestro Lofti's concerts he is accompanied by other well know Masters of traditional Persian music such as Houman Pourmehdi on tombak (goblet drum) and daf (frame drum). Maestro Lotfi's instruments, the tar and setar, are both members of the lute family. The tar, which derived from the Central Asian rebab, is known in Iran as the "king of instruments". It is a long-necked lute with six strings which are tuned in pairs. The mulberry wood body is in the shape of two hearts and it's long neck has 25 or more movable frets. The setar, because of it's delicacy and intimate sonority, is the preferred instrument of the Sufi mystics. It is a four-stringed, long-necked lute of the tanbur family. Smaller than the tar, the pear-shaped body is also made of mulberry wood. Its long narrow neck has 25-27 movable frets which produce intervals similar to the tar.
Mohammad Reza Lotfi is recognized thoughout Iran, Europe and the United States as a brilliant composer and interpreter of traditional Persian music. Born in Gorgan in northern Iran, he graduated from the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, where he later taught and served as dean. He studied tar and setar under such great masters as Shahnazi, Boroumand, Davami, and Salehi.
In the 1970s he was the director of the Center for the Preservation and Propogation of Traditional Iranian Music in Tehran and Chavoosh Conservatory. He contributed for many years to Iranian National Radio and Television and founded the group Sheyda, which was instrumental in the revival of Iranian traditional music. After an extensive concert tour of Europe, he moved to the United States in 1987. In addition to performing widely throughout this country, he established the Shayda Cultural and Artistic Center in Washington D.C. to continue his teaching and scholarly activies.