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Past Event

Saturday University: Classical Persian Music

Nov 17 2018

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Modes and Melodies of Classical Persian Music
Behrooz Alavi, ney flautist

Behrooz (Barry) Alavi introduces the structure of Persian music as a repertoire of modes and melodies passed through generations of musicians as an oral tradition. This classical music structure allows for endless variation and improvisation. The presentation includes a 20-minute performance with Alavi on the Persian ney flute, Ali Ghaemmaghami on the long-necked and waisted string instrument known as the tar, and vocalist and percussionist Sarang Amirtabar playing tombak, a goblet-shaped drum.

About the Presenter

Behrooz Alavi was born in Tehran, and developed a strong interest in Persian poetry, philosophy, and music at a young age. He was attracted to the ney flute, made from a large dried reed, with a unique method of blowing air that creates a sound rich in harmonics.

Sarang Amirtabar began learning santoor (hammered dulcimer) and Persian classical music at an early age, and advanced through study with masters including Maestro Parviz Meshkatian. He is self-taught in performing on tombak (or zarb) drum.

Ali Ghaemmaghami studied music extensively in Tehran, learning setar (Persian lute) with Maestro Jalal Zolfonoon, as well as Tar (a long-necked and waisted string instrument). He graduated from the Central Preservation and Propagation of Music Academy in Tehran.

Please note: South Hall doors open at 9:30 AM.


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Modes and Melodies of Classical Persian Music


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206.442.8480 [email protected]

Full series tickets: $95; SAM members $50
Individual lecture tickets available at the door: $11, SAM members $6; free at the door for students with ID
Please arrive to your seat 10 minutes before the program starts, or your seat may be released.

Photo: Behrooz Alavi

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.