Introduction to Shahram Nazeri
Shahram Nazeri was born in 1950 in the Barzeh neighborhood of Kermanshah in a family interested in poetry and music. He got acquainted with poetry and singing by his mother from an early age. Shahram Nazeri has always said in interviews about the beginning of his musical activities that his mother was the first person who led him to art and music, also she has been practicing with him in poetry and music since he was three years old. While knowing the Persian Radif and Avaz and having a gentle voice, his father played Setar (Sitar). In addition, his paternal family was all interested in literature and music.
The first musical class in Kermanshah that was focused on teaching Radifs and sheet music seriously and principally belonged to the Nazeri family. At the age of 7, Shahram Nazeri performed his first art performance on Kermanshah radio together with Darvish Khan, one of the famous musicians of Kermanshah at that time. After that, at the age of 11, he performed several other programs on Iran radio and television. Master Nazeri got married many years ago, and his marriage result is his son named Hafez Nazeri.
His Path to Become Master Shahram Nazeri
The head of the Nazeri family, Master Parviz Khan Pournazeri, nicknamed Haji Khan, had been trained by Darvish Khan and Colonel Vaziri; Most of the great musicians of Kermanshah got to know the original Persian notes and music through this nobleman. As a result, Shahram Nazeri had the opportunity to leave for Tehran in 1967 when he was 17 years old to benefit from the lectures of Masters such as Nur-Ali Boroumand, Mohammad Reza Shajarian, and Abdolali Vaziri. He also learned Setar from Masters Ahmad Ebadi, Mahmoud Hashemi, and Jalal Zolfonun. Shahram Nazeri was one of Eqbal Azar’s students in Tabriz for a year, collaborating with the local musicians in Iranian music.
In 1976, at the suggestion of Nur-Ali Borumand, he was hired by Iran Radio and Television, performing his first TV program with the Sheida group, led by Mohammad Reza Lotfi; He had a performance with the Rumi’s Masnavi and a song by Sheikh Baha’i. Nazeri participated in the first test of Iranian traditional music, Barbad, and was able to win first place in the field of singing. In 1978, he was selected to perform a concert at the Toos Festival with a group led by Asghar Bahari and Hassan Nahid.
The First Albums
Shahram Nazeri became known as an artist in the early 70s; however, his first works were released as joint albums with Mohammad Reza Shajarian by the Chavosh Recording Centre, encompassing patriotic content and themes such as freedom-seeking at the end of the same decade. Some of Chavosh’s albums, including Chavosh 2, are the first album of joint work between Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri; the two artists have performed many revolutionary songs on those albums.
Shahram Nazeri’s Style
Nazeri is a singer who has a unique spirit in his works and always tries to create new attitudes and experiences in singing and music, and during these years, he tried to teach music and vocal Radifs to the fans in different ways. Shahram Nazeri performed Rumi’s poems in the 80s and became the first singer who paid particular attention to Rumi’s poetry. The album Moses and the Sheperd, and Dolate Eshgh is a new approach to mystical music and poetry. Also, in 1985, he published two works, One Hundred Leaf Flower and In Remembrance of A Friend on the 800th anniversary of the birth of Rumi.
In addition to using Rumi’s poems and consolidating contemporary Persian poetry on Persian traditional music, Shahram Nazeri has also been a pioneer. He is one of the first people who have published the poems of Ferdowsi Shahnameh in more than 40 music albums using Maqami music (A Persian style melody). Shahram Nazeri used rhythmic and special Tahrirs (a style of singing) from the last years of the 90s in his works; among these songs, we can mention the albums of the Saz-e no, Avaz-e no, and Journey to Eternity.
Shahram Nazeri Works
One of the famous outstanding works of Shahram Nazeri is an album called Rumi which has been performed on Rumi’s poems; This album is known outside of Iran as The Passion of Rumi and was nominated for a US Grammy Award in 2007. In a report, The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times informed on the efforts of Shahram and his son, Hafez Nazeri, to Keep Rumi’s spirit alive. Among the prominent compositions of Shahram Nazeri, we can mention the “A Fire in the Reed-Bed” with the poem of Majzoob Tabrizi, “Little by little” the Rumi’s poem, “Caravan of Martyr,” the song of Mohammad Reza Lotfi, and “Sheyda Shodam” his poem.
Nazeri has also performed works in his native language, Kurdish, which are so popular. Among Nazeri’s most famous Kurdish works are the old compositions “Varan Varaneh” and “Shirin Shirin,” which he has covered. Shahram Nazeri is a world-famous artist with many awards. He was received France’s Legion of Honor in 2007 and the national Knights of Merit in 2014. The New York Times called him The Persian nightingale, and The Christian Science Monitor called him Luciano Pavarotti (a famous Italian music performer). The mayor of San Diego, California, named February 25, 2006, after Shahram Nazeri’s name; following the nomination, the US Congress also presented him with a plaque of appreciation.
Other honours of the famous master are performing festivals and big concerts outside Iran such as:
- The Avignon Festival, Avignon
- Théâtre de la Ville, Paris
- Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles
- Festa del Popolo, Rome
- Opificio Romaeuropa, Rome
- Dolby Theater (Oscar Ceremony), Los Angeles
- BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), New York
Performances in Barcelona, Venice, Geneva, Madrid, Brussels, etc., are his greatest international works.