“In 1973, Farah Pahlavi Charity Foundation commissioned Evlin Baghcheban to establish a conservatory of music in Tehran for orphan children. In this school, Ms. Baghcheban organized a choral group called the Farah Choir,” musician and documentary maker Pejman Akbarzadeh stated. “In the years before the fall of the monarchy Farah Choir gave regular concerts throughout the country.”
For its debut album, in 1978, Farah Choir in Vienna recorded seven folk songs from the provinces of Bakhtari, Lorestan, Mazandaran, and Pars. The songs were arranged by Ruben (Rubik) Gregorian and Samin Baghcheban especially for the choir. “By the time the recording was finished in Austria, Persia was in turmoil with the revolution that brought Islamist’s to power, and all musical activity, including the Farah Conservatory and its choir, was shut down,” Pejman Akbarzadeh added.
The recording in Vienna was neglected until the summer of 2010, when Evlin Baghcheban, just months before her death, passed on the materials to Pejman Akbarzadeh who was working to preserve the Baghchebans’ musical heritage. The old recordings, under his supervision, has been restored and released in the Netherlands.
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