Mohammad Lotfi

The recent death of Iranian master musician Mohammad Reza Lotfi (1947-2014) on May 2 at the age of 68 marks a crucial turning point in the history of classical Persian music and its spectacular rise and fall as a performing public art. Lotfi was a Tar and Setar virtuoso who had collaborated with prominent Iranian vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri, and others and along with a handful of other master musicians of his generation had transformed Persian music from its slumbering, sedate and secluded courtly and mystical milieu into a massive scale public and vastly popular art form. It is impossible to imagine the social history of Iran of the last half a century and through the thick and thin of a cataclysmic revolution and a bloody war without thinking of the definitive presence of classical Persian music as reconceived by Lotfi’s generation of master musicians.

Read More: Persian Classical Music Mourns a Master