Iradj Sahbai (1945) is a French-Iranian composer and conductor who studied in Tehran, Strasburg and Paris (where he followed the teaching of Olivier Messiaen and won the composition prize). His oeuvre reveals a great attraction to and evocation of Iranian culture, and combines lively rhythms with vocal expressionism, in search of color. He finds inspiration in the modes of traditional Persian music and their microtonal inflections, as well as in the poetry of modern and classical Persian writers such as Nimâ Yooshij, Omar Khayyâm, Hâfez, and Rumi. Sahbai founded and conducted the Schiltigheim Chamber Orchestra, and has been involved in the creation and performance of numerous contemporary music works. In this session, students and researchers of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp present recent solo and chamber works of his, paired with an earlier composition (Belgian premieres) and new harpsichord music by Iranian composers.
It is the concluding event of Liselotte Sels's two-year research project "EMRUZ | TODAY: New music from Iran and the Iranian diaspora". Liselotte Sels is a harpsichordist, (forte)pianist, and musicologist, with a PhD in Art Science (Ghent University). She was a teacher at Artevelde University College Ghent and University College Ghent, and worked as a postdoctoral visiting researcher at University of California, Santa Barbara, supported by a B.A.E.F fellowship. As an ethnomusicologist, she specializes in Turkish and Iranian music.