Mohamad Reza Shajarian (born 23 September 1940, Mashhad) is an Iranian singer, musician and calligraphist. He has been acclaimed as the most well-known artist in Iranian classical music on Asia Society website. Vancouver Sun has compared him to very important figures in music like Ghasemov, Abdelbaset, Şivan Perwer as one of the world’s greatest music artists. Shajarian established Shahnaz Ensemble in 2008. In 1999, UNESCO in France presented him with the Picasso Award and in 2006 with the UNESCO Mozart Medal. He was twice nominated for Grammy Awards for the albums ‘Faryad’ and ‘Bi To Be Sar Nemishavad’ in 2004 and 2006. He is the only Iranian singer who has ever been nominated for the Grammy Awards.
After the tenth presidential election in Iran in 2009, he asked Ezzatollah Zarghami, Head of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting (IRIB), in a letter, not to play any of his performances on the television or on the radio. He wrote, “My songs, especially ‘Ey Iran, Ey Saraye Omid’ (Iran, the Land of Hope) belonged to the years 1979 and 1980 (during and after the revolution in Iran) and has nothing to do with the present situation.” He stated that Iran’s Broadcasting Organization had no role in the production of the songs and by law they are not allowed to air them. The IRIB was playing his songs with a patriotic theme in particular ‘Ey Iran, Ey Saraye Omid’ close to the presidential election. In an interview with BBC, he remarked that “In the situation that people are shocked and as Mr Ahmadinejad has said the ‘dirt and dust’ rised up my voice no longer has a place in Radio and Television. My voice is the voice of dirt and dust and will always be for the dirt and dust.” He was seen among the protesters after the election in 2009. Shajarian has performed and released some songs in solidarity with the Green Movement.
Accessed Date: 2/11/2013