Traditional Music from Korea and Iran


    Traditional Music from Korea and Iran

  • WHEN

    8 PM–10 PM on February 9, 2024

Inspired by the Shiraz Arts Festiva’s curatorial vision, “Traditional Music from Korea and Iran” brings togethers two duos: Jung-Hee Oh, a Korean music artist of “Gayageum Byeong-chang” (Solo zither performance with song) with Song Eun Shin, who performs the 25 String Gayageum; and Mehrnam Rastegari, a Persian master of the Kamancheh (an Iranian bowed string instrument, with Jalal Kimia, who performs the Iranian percussion instruments Daf and Tombak. Iranian traditional music held a central role in the Shiraz Arts Festival’s programming. Prior to the festival, large, high-profile, live performances of Iranian traditional music were rare – with performances primarily confined to private homes and small gatherings. The inaugural 1967 festival showcased Iranian master musicians in multiple concerts at the picturesque Hafezieh (a memorial garden in Shiraz, Iran, housing the tomb of Hafez, a 14th-century Persian poet). By the following year, Iranian music was also being featured alongside music from other cultures. Programs such as “Traditional Music from India & Iran” or “Traditional Music from Morocco & Iran” invited audiences to hear connections and interplay between musical styles and instrumentations in ways that are still rare today.

This event is part of A UTOPIAN STAGE, an exhibition at Asian Arts Initiative from February 9 to March 30, 2024, presented with Bowerbird



Ms. Jung-Hee Oh is a Korean traditional music artist in ‘Gayageum Byeong-chang’ (singing with self-accompaniment of the Gayageum instrument) and ‘Pansori’ (a traditional story-telling performed by a solo vocalist). Ms. Oh is recognized as a Korean government cultural ministry’s intangible cultural property No. 23 in Gayageum with song and ‘Sanjo.’ She had performances in numerous significant musical events and was featured as the main guest in many Korean Cultural events in prominent institutions. She received her master’s degree in Korean music from Chung-Ang University in Seoul Korea. She currently serves as the music director of the music band G-Hwaja and performing artist based in NY & NJ metropolitan area.

Song Eun Shin has established her reputation for her outstanding performance and detailed expressions of the unique musical language. In addition, she has been a pioneer in spreading across the world the sound of Gayageum, traditional Korean string instrument. She started to play Gayageum when she was 10 years old. She graduated from Korean National Traditional Arts High School and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chung-Ang University with top honors. She won Seoul Gayageum Competition and has continued to advance her career through great concerts and performances, including Shanghai Expo, the G20 Summit, and Hong Kong national holiday events.

Mehrnam Rastegari is a well-established Iranian music and film score composer, singer, violinist, and master Kamancheh player. She has performed in concerts in more than ten countries, including the United States, Germany, Switzerland, France, Finland, Iran, and Kazakhstan, and music festivals such as the WOMEX World Music Expo, Tampere, Finland, and the Fajr International Music Festival, Tehran, Iran. Mehrnam’s main instrument is the Kamancheh, for which she has been recognized by some of the best Kamancheh performers and instructors globally, who certified her as a master Kamancheh player. She was a guest speaker at the TEDx event Oasis: Existence in Nothingness. Additionally, she composed the score for multiple award-winning films, including Dispirited, for which she won the Best Original Score Award at the Melbourne City Independent Film Awards (MCIFA), A Poetess, presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, and the Rotten, nominated for the original score in Japan Kadoma Festival.

Jalal Kimia, a talented Persian Percussionist, was born and raised in Iran. He embarked on his musical journey by learning the famous Iranian frame drum, Daf, at an early age, guided by Meysam Afshin and Behzad Mahjoobi. Later, he felt compelled to learn the other main Persian percussion instrument, Tombak, and continued his training under Master Dariush Eshaghi and later continued his training with Master Pejman Hadadi, further developing his skills as a percussionist.

Major support for A Utopian Stage has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage with additional support from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.. Presented in collaboration with Bowerbird, Fire Museum Presents and Philly Iran

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