Arcana New Music Ensemble: After Shiraz

Music in the Pavilion

February 3, 2023 (Friday) — 6:15 pm to 9:00 pm

Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, 6th Floor
3420 Walnut St.

Open to the Public; Registration is Required (link)

Drawing inspiration from archival exhibition catalogs of the Shiraz Festival in the Penn Libraries collections, this concert features music by contemporary Iranian composers. Throughout its run from 1967 to 1977, the Shiraz Festival was host to an array of contemporary classical and avant garde composers from Europe and the United States. Among them were Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, Olivier Messiaen, Bruno Maderna, John Cage, David Tudor, and Morton Feldman. A significant arts center, which was to include electronic music and recording studios, was planned as an outgrowth of the festival.

While the complex politics of the Shah’s regime and the approaching revolution brought these developments to an end, the festival had broad and lasting impacts on contemporary and experimental music in Iran. This program includes music by Iranian composers, several generations removed from the festival, all living in exile, whose work is an example of this enduring legacy.



The pre-concert talk is at 6:15 pm, followed by the concert at 7:00 pm. There will be no intermission.



Anahita Abbasi (1985): Seven Impressions
    Alize Rozsnyai, soprano
    Andy Thierauf, percussion

Farzia Fallah (1980): Posht-e Hichestan
    Nicholas Handahl, flute

Sepehr Pirasteh (1993): Rubáiyát
    Tom Kraines, cello

Aida Shirazi (1987): ephemera
    Jonathan Leeds, clarinet
    Andy Thierauf, percussion

Ashkan Behzadi (1983): Agony, Rage of Forgotten People, Elegy
    Carlos Santiago, violin


Arcana New Music Ensemble

Founded in 2016, the Arcana New Music Ensemble is a group of Philadelphia-based musicians dedicated to presenting interesting, beautiful, and unconventional music in interesting, beautiful, and unconventional places. (Link to website)

Music in the Pavilion Series

Presented by the University of Pennsylvania's Music Department, the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library, the music series Music in the Pavilion takes place in the beautiful sixth-floor Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion in Van Pelt Library. (Link to website)


Featured image: Mantra, for two pianos: Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer), Alfons Kontarsky, Aloys Kontarsky (pianists); Saray-e Moshir, Shiraz (Iran), 1972; courtesy Stockhausen-Stiftung für Musik / Archaeology of the Final Decade Archives.


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