Tar: Ali Akbar Shahnazi
Pishdaramads & Rengs from the
Advanced Level Radif
Ostad Ali-Akabar Shahnazi, the son of Aqa Hossein-Qoli, and the grandson of Ali-Akbar Farahani-known as the father of the "Art Family" - is the founder of new school of tar playing. He was born in 1897 in Tehran and began to study tar with his father and uncle, Mirza Abdollah, and then with Darvish Khan. After the death of his uncle, Ostad Shahnazi opened a school for music training. By 1920s he was regarded as the true successor of Mirza Abdollah and the best known tar player of the day. He was a very prestigious artist in cultural high society. He began to compose during these days and taught his own compositions to numerous students, hence helped the propagation of his oeuvre and his fame. The first recordings made by him dates back to 1912.
He befriended with some of the greatest masters of his time, including Aref Qazvini, Jenab Damavandi, Reza-Qoli Mirza Zelli, Abolhassan Eqbal Azar and Adib Khansari. In 1922 he gave a concert with Mirza Hossein-Qoli Tafreshi as singer, in the auditorium of Grand Hotel, Tehran. For more than six decades, Ostad Shahnazi followed and perfected the tradition of great past masters of Persian music, and truly was a generous teacher and a lover of his students, many of them turned to be prominent artists. The respectful master of Persian music died in 1984. May God bless him and may be his memory last forever.