Everything you need to know about the Iranian New Year in Orange County
The famous poet Rumi wrote, “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” And certainly no season stirs the soul more than spring. March 21 marks the first day of spring, but for millions of people around the world it’s also the start of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. Nowruz, which means “new day” in Persian, has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years. And last year, Google celebrated this holiday of rebirth and renewal with a special doodle that depicted spring flowers and nature.
This year, Pacific Symphony in collaboration with the Farhang Foundation presents an intriguing concert featuring prominent Iranian composers and performers with Music Director Carl St.Clair leading the orchestra and soloists on March 24 at 7 p.m. The program will feature works of Khachaturian, Dvorák as well as traditional Iranian music. Guest artists include the internationally acclaimed Persian conductor and composer Shardad Rohani, popular singer and crossover artist Homayoun Shajarian, along with instrumentalists Sohrab Pournazeri and Tahmoures Pournazeri, key members of the popular Iranian group the Shamss Ensemble.
Anoosheh Oskouian, who serves as a trustee of the Farhang Foundation and as a board member of Pacific Symphony, commented, “I am so pleased that the Farhang Foundation will partner with Pacific Symphony to celebrate Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring and rebirth of nature.” She continued, “It has been my dream to bring this special Nowruz concert onstage to connect East and West musically.”
Carl St.Clair said, “Pacific Symphony values its position as a cultural resource and leader and we embrace Orange County’s rich and diverse communities through contextual programming. This is a way to connect on a more personal level and also reflects my own wish to enrich lives through the beauty and power of music.”
DVOŘÁK: Carnival Overture
KHACHATURIAN: “Sabre Dance”
ROHANI: Dance of Spring
Persian Garden for Violin and Orchestra
Beauty of Love
Medley in Isfahan Scale
~ Intermission ~
Traditional Persian music by Homayoun Shajarian, Tahmoures Pournazeri and Sohrab Pournazeri
Article written by Jeanne Quill, reprinted with permission by KUDOS Newport Beach Magazine (March 2019 issue).