MohammadReza Shajariān (Persian: محمدرضا شجريان) (born September 23, 1940 in Mashhad-Iran) is a legendary and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and Ostad (master) of Persian music. He has been called "Iran's greatest living master of Persian Classical music". In Persian classical Dastgah music, singing is the most difficult art to master and Shajarian is the embodiment of the perfect singer and a major source of inspiration. Shajarian is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy, and humanitarian activities... MohammadReza Shajarian began singing spiritual songs at the age five under the supervision of his Father. Only a few years later his precocious talent was to be renowned throughout the town of Mashhad. In spite of his religious upbringing, at the age of twelve he was familiarizing himself with the traditional song repertoire and the first piece he was to sing was the Gham - Angiz Goosheh of Dashti. He was also interested at the same time in popular music from Khorasan and the other regions of Iran. His focus at first was on the local folk music of his native province, Khorasan, but later at the age of twelve he studied the traditional repertoire, the Radif. After college, he became a schoolteacher and was to find himself at much greater liberty to study all forms of Persian traditional music and gradually relinquish religious singing. ..What follows is a resume of the major landmarks in Mohammad Reza Shajarian's artistic career. On the arrival in Teheran he met Ahmad Ebadi, the great Setar master who was sole heir to the musical tradition upheld by his family. His meeting of the late Esmail Mehrtash was to initiate him in the fine nuances of traditional singing, in popular melodies and in artistic technique... Right from the earliest age he learnt how to sing the different versions of the Radif from the most highly reputed singers such as Reza Gholi Mirza Zelli, Ghamar Molook Vaziri, Eghbal Azar, Taj Esfahani, Noor Ali Boroomand and Taher Zadeh Esfahani. Shajarian started playing the Santour under the instructions of Jalal Akhbari to better understand and perform the traditional repertoire, and in 1960, To improve his technique, became the pupil of the Santour Maestro Faramarz Payvar which lead to his acquiring perfect interpretative and executant mastery on instrument phrases transposed for the voice... Shajarian was deeply inspired by the late master vocalist Gholam Hossein Banan and adopted his style of singing for several years. An important event in his life was his productive encounter with the great master Abdollah Davami, who was to impart to him the most ancient Tasnifs (songs) and the authentic version of the Radif which had been passed onto him by the greatest masters of the previous century... Shajarian started his singing career in 1959 at Radio Khorasan. He rose to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing. Since then, he has led an illustrious career that includes teaching at Tehran University's department of Fine Arts (among other places), researching the musical arts of Iran, and workingat the National Radio and Television. He has been performing regularly in Iran and throughout the world. His performances have brought him universal acclaim and an eminent position among his compatriots. Shajarian has collaborated with Parviz Meshkatian, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh, and Faramarz Payvar. He is recognised as skilled singer in the challenging traditional Dastgah style. In 1999 UNESCO in France presented him with the Picasso Award and in 2006 with the UNESCO Mozart Medal... Besides his tremendous musical talent, Shajarian has had a life-long passion for Persian Calligraphy. Since 1967, he has practiced this art under the instructions of two Iranian master calligraphers, Ebrahim Buzari, and Hossein Mirkhani.At present, he is considered an accomplished calligrapher with his own distinct style.

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