Kaveh Farrokh will be providing a two-part lecture at the University of Southern California (USC) (topic: Iran and the Caucasus: A Long-Lasting Legacy of Historical & Cultural Ties) on April 22, 2013.
The USC lecture has been made possible by the organizational and coordination efforts of the Persian Academic and Cultural Student Association (PACSA – see Facebook) and support of the Persian American Society (PAS).
[Click to Enlarge] The lecture will focus on the overview of the cultural and historical links between Iran and the Caucasus from antiquity to the signing of the Golestan and Turkmenchai treaties in the early 19th century. Examples of topics include influences in linguistics, arts, architecture and culture over the centuries in the regions of ancient Albania (modern Republic of Azerbaijan), Armenia and Georgia (ancient Iberia and Colchis). In addition to influences from Iran proper, the role of North-Iranian speakers in Eastern Europe and their impact on the Caucasus is also examined. The lecture will conclude with the Iranian legacy in the Caucasus after the Russian conquests of 1828.
The lecture at the University of Southern California on Iran and the Caucasus: A Long-Lasting Legacy of Historical & Cultural Ties will be held at:
Location: USC-Waite Phillips Hall (Room WPH B27) – 3470 Trousdale Parkway Los Angeles, CA 90089
Rustam slays the dragon. The tales of Rustam (the “Hercules of Persia”) are narrated in the Shahname epic written in the post-Islamic era after the fall of the Sassanian Empire. Known as the “Illiad of Persia”, the Shahname has preserved much of Iran’s ancient pre-Islamic heritage.
The following report was given by Richard Orange in the London-based Telegraph on June 3, 2011:
Below is a Persian translation by the Balatarin.com website of excerpts of the Telegraph report:
رئيس جمهور تاجيكستان از مردم كشورش خواست تا نام هاي كودكان نورسيده شان را از شاهنامه فردوسي برگزينند و از انتخاب نام هاي عربي، تركي و نامهايي كه پسوند و پيشوند “گرگ” دارند بپرهيزند تا ازين طريق به فرهنگ نياكان پارسي خود اداي احترام كنند. رئيس جمهور تاجيكستان نام فرزندان خودش را از شاهنامه برگزيده است و نام پسر او “رستم” نام دارد. اين در حالي است كه 21 ژوئيه قانوني به پيشنهاد رئيس جمهور تاجيكستان در مجلس تاجيكستان به تصويب رسيد كه نام گذاري عربي و غير پارسي را در اين كشور ممنوع مي كند.
For more information on this in Persian see the following report:
Tajikestan has also produced epic movies from the Shahname Legends -kindly click on the 1971 movie poster below to see the movie (segmented in 10 parts):
Readers are also introduced to the works of Master composer Loris Tjeknavorian (click his photo below at left) and the DVD production of the Rustam-Sohrab epic by the Dabiri Foundation (click on photo of the director of the foundation, Dr. Ali Dabiri below at right).
Loris Tjeknavorian was born in 1937, in Iran, to an immigrant Armenian family. He lived most of his life in Austria, the USA, the UK, and Armenia. Tjeknavorian studied violin at the Tehran Conservatory of Music, before moving to Vienna to study at the Vienna Music Academy where, in 1961, he graduated with honors. Shortly upon graduation, a number of Tjeknavorian’s works were published by Doblinger Publishing in Vienna
Maaestro Loris Tjeknavorian is one of the world’s leading composers. For more information on the Maestro’s works consult his website here.
In 1963 Carl Orff granted him a scholarship, which allowed him to reside in Salzburg and to continue working on his opera “Rostam and Sohrab“, one of the major epics of Firdowsi’s Shahname, known as the “Iliadof Persia“.
Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian’s masterpiece Opera “Rostam and Sohrab” from the Shahname epic. Note that the Shahname epics have parallels in the Legend of King Arthur.
In 1965 Tjeknavorian began to study conducting at the University of Michigan. From 1966 to 1967 he was appointed composer in residence at the Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and from 1966 to 1970 head of the instrumental and opera departments at the Moorhead University in Minnesota. In 1975 Tjeknavorian signed an exclusive conducting contract with the RCA recording company and made many successful recordings with leading orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.
Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian conducts his “Rostam and Sohrab” Opera in Tehran. The Opera video above (which features English subtitles) is towards the end of the performance which outlines the final tragedy of Sohrab’s funeral.
In 1989, Tjeknavorian was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra. During his eleven years of collaboration with the orchestra, his recordings for ORF (the Austrian radio and television station) and ASV (an English recording company) achieved world-wide recognition. In 2010 Tjeknavorian was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra in California.
Iranian opera singer Darya Dadvar sings the tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab in Tehran. She currently resides in France.
In the course of his career, Tjeknavorian has made numerous recordings (with RCA, Philips, EMI, ASV, etc.) and written more than 70 compositions (symphonies, operas, a requiem, chamber music, concerto for piano, violin, guitar, cello and pipa (Chinese lute), ballet music, choral works and an oratorio, and over 40 film scores. His works have been performed by some of the world’s major orchestras (including the Vienna Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the American Symphony, etc.) and have received high critical acclaim. Among his many honors, Tjeknavorian was recently presented with the Austrian Presidential Gold Medal for Artistic Merit.
The Dabiri Foundation has sponsored a DVD production of a play of the legendary ancient tales of Rostam and Sohrab.
Dr. Ali Dabiri, President and Founder of the Dabiri Foundation.
The Foundation embarked on this journey to honor the millennium of the birth of Ferdowsi, the author of the Rostam-Sohrab tale, which stands among his magnificent book of poems, the Shahnameh. Ferdowsi is regarded as the father of the modern Persian language, or new Persian or Parsiye Now. The Dabiri-sponosred play has also been enriched with the poems of the modern Persian poets Kasraee and Beizaee. This is indeed a timely production that reflects the complex culture that has become an integral part of Iranians as a whole.
Rostam and Sohrab is one of the most tragic stories of the Shahnameh and, in terms of literary narratives, is comparable to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh extols the virtues of Wisdom and Knowledge.
The DVD is in Persian with English Subtitles. It will be enjoyed by people of all ages, as well as non-Persian-speaking audiences. The play is 90 minutes long. Kindly click the icon below to witness 7 minutes of the play:
The proceeds of the sale are pledged to the Dr. M.A.Modjahedi Foundation which provides no interest education loans to Iranian- American students in the USA. To purchase the DVD, kindly click here.