The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Presents
C e l e b r a t i n g
the Persian New Year, Noruz
On March 24, 2001,
6:00-7:00 pm EST
On the Millennium stage of
the John F. Kennedy Center for
the Performing Arts

Live webcast at

NAVA, the Iranian Young Players Ensemble and Masters led by Shahriar Saleh present:

  • Sorud Ey Iran and two folk songs, by young Iranian players. The audience around the stage is encouraged to sing the sorud along, as the young performers play this national song of Iran.
  • Variations in Dastgah (Key) Mahur by the Masters. Mahur is one of seven Iranian tonalities and as its name implies, closely resembles a western major key, and in this case, G Major. However, as melodies progress, it deviates from standard G Major and assumes the very Iranian tonalities, based on quarter tones.

    The list of songs to be played, are as follows:

    • Peesh Daramad by M. Ney Davoud
    • Narges-e Masti by Sheida
    • Pardees by F. Payvar
    • Ze Man Negaram, an old song
    • Zolf-e Sar Kajat by Sheida
    • Ghahr O Oshti by Darveesh Khan
The Musicians

Nava Masters
Dr. Ali Analouei: A well-known percussionist, he has supported many Iranian orchestras with his powerful and wonderful single drum, Tombak. He has an exceptional talent and ability to produce a vast arrey of beats and sounds out of this very unique and simple instrument. He has taught this instrument for years and has produced some excellent recordings.

Dr. Houshang Hojjati: As a practicing physician, a gifted painter, and a physicist, he has a vast knowledge of Persian art. He has a wonderful voice and has performed in many cultural and academic circles. He has published a book on accoustics and the Iranian music, as well as some great recordings.

Katayoon Hodjati: An active flute performer and teacher, she is currently a freelance player and instructor in the Washington D.C. area. Katayoon holds a B.M. in flute performance from Oberlin Conservatory. She has been a winner in flute competitions and has played and taught flute internationally.

Arya Saleh: He began practicing violin at the age of seven with his father. As a young player, has played with the Washington Symphony Orchestra. At the age of eighteen, he has an excellent command of this instrument and a good exposure to both Western and Persian classical songs.

Shahriar Saleh: He has been teaching, recording, archiving and performing Persian Classical music for the last thirty years while working as a project manager with NIH. He plays the authentic hammer dulcimer, Santur. Invited by the Kennedy Center for this performance, he is proud to have other prominent musicians join him to present this program to the world.

Nava Young Players

Arasp Biparva
Farbod Fakhrai
Cyrus Hadavi
Azar Mesbahi
Saman Saba

Alireza Saboori
Bahareh Sarrami
Ata Tabesh
Sana Tabesh
Shaady Fakhrai
Rasa Ghaffari
Sara Saba
Zahra Saboori
Nina Sabzevari
Aryan Saleh
Persian Classical Music

Persian music is based on twelve principal modal systems: seven primary systems called Dastgahs and five secondary systems called Sub Dastgahs or Avaz. Each system is divided into a series of melodic sequences linked to each other in an unresolved continuity. These sequences are called Gusheh and their number varies depending on the Dastgah. Each Dastgah or Avaz constitutes a specific scale having three distinct notes: (a) Shahed (witness or root note), regarded as the tonal or modal center of the Dastgah (Key); (b) Eest (rest note), a temporary rest place for the melodies before as they gradually incline; and (c) Moteghayer (the variable note), which produces expressive colors. The entire group of the systems taken together constitutes the repertoire of Classical Persian Music or Radeef a word that means arrangement and order. Most of Radeef has no meter and follows a speech-like rhythm, but it also contains rhythmic pieces that normally have drum accompaniments.

The compositions are mostly based on the Radeefs. They include a Peesh Daramad, sometimes stately or lively piece, as the introduction of the Dastgah played by an ensemble in unison; the Chahar-Mezrab a virtuoso solo number with driving rhythm; the Tasneef (a lyrical song) and a Reng a dance-like piece usually in 6/8 meter.

Dastgah of Mahur is chosen for this performance.

Additional information available at
This event is free and open to the public. It can also viewed, live on the Internet at .