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February 10, 1933
|Died||December 9, 2009 76) (aged|
|Occupation||Composer, player of Santour|
Master Farāmarz Pāyvar (10 February 1933, Tehran – 9 December 2009, Tehran) (Persian : فرامرز پایور) was an Iranian composer and santur player. Payvar died on December 9, 2009 after a long struggle with brain damage. Although once perceived as marginal, the santur is now considered an important solo instrument in Persian classical music, largely as a result of his work. Over the course of his career, Payvar revolutionised its playing, led two major ensembles and made numerous recordings.
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.694 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.
Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.
He also published several books on practical and theoretical aspects of Iranian classical music. These included a series of influential guides on how to play the santur, and a popular manual for the tar, a long-necked lute said to embody the spirit of Iranian music.
Payvar was renowned for his strict personal discipline and demanded the same of his students as well as members of his ensembles. This meant that their line-ups hardly altered at all, in contrast with the volatile changes that affected other contemporary Persian groups.
He founded his own school of performance for the santur, with a novel emphasis on arpeggiated figures reflecting an openness to "Western" influence. Another innovation that caused controversy among some traditionalists was his use of felt on the hammers used to strike the instrument's strings. This resulted in a softer, less metallic tone that was suggestive of the piano – itself thought to have been derived from the santur.
Before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Payvar travelled internationally as a cultural ambassador for Persian music, performing in North America, Great Britain, Continental Europe, various Sobiet Republics and Japan. During the 1960s and 1970s he recorded a number of albums for French labels. Among his albums still available are two volumes devoted to the works of tar player Darvish Khan, as well as Iran: Persian Classical Music, which was recorded on a 1973 tour of America and featured the female singer Khatareh Parvaneh.
The Iranian Revolution was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
Faramarz Payvar was born in 1933 in Tehran to a wealthy family. Both his father and grandfather played santur and violin, and were associated with the great musicians of their eras.
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.
By the age of 17, Payvar had begun formal music study with the maestro Abu'l-Hasan Saba. It took him six years to master the radif – the complete repertoire of Persian classical music. Following this, he was able to perform alongside his teacher on the Iranian National Radio, taking part in a groundbreaking series of programmes. These are being conserved in the second decade of second millenium A. D. as the Golha Project, supported by the British Library and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The Golha radio programs comprise 1578 radio programs consisting of approximately 847 hours of music and poetry broadcast on an Iranian government-owned radio station over a period from 1956 through 1979.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued. It is estimated to contain 150–200 million+ items from many countries. As a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
After doing his military service in 1952, Payvar began working for the Iranian Ministry of Finance, and started teaching at the College for National Music, but in 1955 he moved to the Ministry of Education. By 1959 he had founded the nine-member National Instrumental Orchestra of the Ministry of Arts and Culture.
Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job (volunteer) or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription).
In 1963 Payvar won a scholarship to study for three years in England, where he met his Irish-American first wife. During this time, he also lectured on and performed Persian classical music in London and Cambridge.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.
On his return to Iran in 1966, he founded his second group, the five-member Goruh-e Asātid ("Ensemble of Maestros"). Both of his groups began performing on Iranian TV and giving concerts at Tehran's new Rudaki Concert Hall.
They were often featured at the international Shiraz Arts Festival, which ran from 1967 to 1977, but it became one of several cultural casualties of the looming Islamic Revolution. The Ministry of Art and Culture followed suit, as did Payvar's associated group, which had by then changed its name to the Payvar Ensemble. With the exception of "revolutionary anthems", music was completely banned in Iran from 1979 and all through the Iran-Iraq war, which ended in 1988. However, Payvar continued to teach privately during this period, and when the ban was lifted in 1989, he performed the first public concert at Rudaki Hall.
Payvar's first marriage had ended due to the "complications" that resulted from being married to a foreigner after the revolution. While visiting his daughter (and only child) from that union in Paris in 1998, he suffered a stroke that paralysed one side of his body and forced him to give up performing. Although severely disabled, he continued to mentor younger musicians from his home till the end of his life.
Faramarz Payvar, who died in Tehran on December 9, was married twice. He is survived by his second wife and his daughter.
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