Muhammed Rıza Şeceryan - Wikipedia

Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Shajarian at a concert in London
Shajarian at a concert in London

Background information

Birth name

Mohammad Reza Shajarian


September 23, 1940 (1940-09-23)
Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan, Iran


Traditional Persian Music


Composer, Singer, University lecturer

Years active

1959 – present


Mohammad Reza Shajarian (Persian: محمد رضا شجريان) (born September 23, 1940 in Mashhad, Iran) is an internationally and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and Master (Ostad) of Persian music. A living legend of Persian classical music[1][2][3], Shajarian is also known for his mastery of Persian calligraphy and humanitarian activities.

Shajarian is considered as one of the most celebrated world music artists.[4] His best works has been in collaboration with Parviz Meshkatian, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh, and Faramarz Payvar. His singing is widely believed to be technically flawless, powerful, and strongly emotional. In Persian classical Dastgah music, singing is the most difficult art to master and Shajarian is the embodiment of the perfect singer and a major source of inspiration. In 1999 UNESCO in France presented him with the prestigious Picasso Award, one of Europe's highest honors.

Early work

He studied singing at the early age of five under the supervision of his father, and at the age of twelve, he began studying the traditional classical repertoire known as the Radif. Shajarian started his singing career in 1959 at Radio Khorasan, rising to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing. Since then, he has had an illustrious career that includes teaching at Tehran University's Department of Fine Arts (among other places), working at National Radio and Television, researching Iranian music, and making numerous important recordings. The great ancient poets of Persia (Iran) have illustrated their feelings, senses and thoughts through poems. One can read, study and really enjoy these poems, but in order to feel the whole greatness one should just listen to the heavenly voice of Shajarian!

Music Groups

Shajarian has not always been in music groups, but he currently does the vocals for the Masters of Persian Music with his son Homayoun Shajarian, as well as two other masters, Keyhan Kalhor and Hossein Alizadeh.

Significant Works

  • Raast-Panjgaah concert with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Raast-panjgaah (1976).
  • Be yaad e Aaref with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Bayaat e Turk (1986).
  • Sepideh ALBUM with Mohammad Reza Lotfi and the Sheydaa Ensemble in Maahoor.
  • Bidaad with Parviz Meshkatian and the Aref Ensemble in Homaayoun (1985).
  • Aastaan e Jaanaan with Parviz Meshkatian and Naaser Farhangfar in Sur (1982).
  • Nava - Morakkab Khani with Parviz Meshkatian and the Aref Ensemble in Navaa, Se-gaah and Dashti (1986).
  • Dastan with Parviz Meshkatian and the Aref Ensemble in Chahaar-Gah (1987).
  • Cheshmeye Noush with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Raast-panjgaah.
  • Shab,Sokoot,Kavir with Keyhan Kalhor based on the folk music of Khorasan (2000).
  • Without you with the Masters Ensemble in Navaa and Bayaat e Turk (2002).
  • Faryaad with the Masters Ensemble in Raast-panjgaah (2003).
  • Eshgh Daanad with Mohammad Reza Lotfi in Aboo Ataa (1981).
  • Chehre be Chehre with Mohammad Reza Lotfi (1977).
  • Serr-e-Eshgh Mahoor

Work eras

It can be said that Shajarian has had different distinct eras in his artistic career of almost 40 years.

The first era was the time he started working in Iran's radio mainly with radio orchestra and mainly with Faramarz Payvar. In 2007 he organized a workshop on Iranian Avaaz. [5]


He studied with the great masters Esmaeil Mehrtash and Ahmad Ebadi, and learned the vocal styles of singers from previous generations, including Reza Gholi Mirza Zelli,Fariborz Manouchehri, Ghamar Molouk Vaziri, Eghbal Azar and Taj Isfahani. He started playing the Santour under the instruction of Jalal Akhbari in order to better understand and perform the traditional repertoire, and in 1960, he became the pupil of Faramarz Payvar. He deployed inspired by the late master vocalist Gholam Hossein Banan. He studied under the guidance of master Abdollah Davami, from whom he learned the most ancient (songs). Abdollah Davami also passed on to Shajarian his own interpretation of the Radif.

Bam Art Garden project

After 2003 Bam earthquake, Mohammad Reza Shajarian initiated a project to help the people of Bam. He also performed concerts in favor of people of Bam. After years of silence in Iran, his performance for the people of Bam was an outstanding humanitarian step towards his own people. He is widely known and accepted as the Singer of the People.

Awards and distinctions

  • Nushin medal (2008)
  • The UNESCO award - the UNESCO Mozart Medal[6] (2006)
  • Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2006)
  • Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2004)
  • Iran’s best classical vocalist (2000)
  • Golden Picasso Medal (1999), one of Europe's highest honors presented by UNESCO in France.
  • National radio and television golden cup (1977)
  • Prize presented by Turkish parliament speaker (1976)

Notable students

  • Shahram Nazeri
  • Parisa
  • Ali Jahandar
  • Iraj Bastami
  • Hamid Reza Noorbakhsh
  • Homayoun Shajarian
  • Alireza Ghorbani
  • Hesamedin Seraj
  • Salar Aghili
  • Sina Sarlak

On Shajarian

  • "Shajarian is a superstar, the Pavarotti of Persian classical music." –Toronto Globe & Mail[7]
  • "Shajarian is not only a great singer, but the honor and prestige of Iran." - Renowned calligrapher Yadollah Kaboli.[8]


1. Master of Persian Classical Music: Mohammad Reza Shajarian
2. Mohammad Reza Shajarian
3. Asia Society
4. Shajarian is one of the most important world music artists
6. روزنا
7. [1]
8. tehran times : “Let us not forget Bam:” Shajarian


  • Laudan Nooshin, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie, second edition (Macmillan, London, 2001). ISBN 1561592390. (Oxford University Press, 2001). ISBN 0195170679.

See also

External links