Mohammad Reza Shajarian (born September 23, 1940 in Mashhad, Iran) is an internationally and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and Master (Ostad) of Persian music. A living legend of Persian classical music, Shajarian is also known for his mastery of Persian calligraphy and humanitarian activities.
Shajarian is considered as one of the most celebrated world music artists. His singing is widely believed to be technically flawless, powerful, and strongly emotional. In Persian classical Dastgah music, singing is the most difficult art to master and Shajarian is the embodiment of the perfect singer and a major source of inspiration. In 1999 UNESCO in France presented him with the prestigious Picasso Award, one of Europe’s highest honors.
He studied singing at the early age of five under the supervision of his father, and at the age of twelve, he began studying the traditional classical repertoire known as the Radif. Shajarian started his singing career in 1959 at Radio Khorasan, rising to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing. Since then, he has had an illustrious career that includes teaching at Tehran University’s Department of Fine Arts (among other places), working at National Radio and Television, researching Iranian music, and making numerous important recordings. The great ancient poets of Persia (Iran) have illustrated their feelings, senses and thoughts through poems. One can read, study and really enjoy these poems, but in order to feel the whole greatness one should just listen to the heavenly voice of Shajarian!
He studied with the great masters Esmaeil Mehrtash and Ahmad Ebadi, and learned the vocal styles of singers from previous generations, including Reza Gholi Mirza Zelli,Fariborz Manouchehri, Ghamar Molouk Vaziri, Eghbal Azar , and Taj Isfahani. He started playing the Santour under the instruction of Jalal Akhbari in order to better understand and perform the traditional repertoire, and in 1960, he became the pupil of Faramarz Payvar. He deployed inspired by the late master vocalist Gholam Hossein Banan. He studied under the guidance of master Abdollah Davami, from whom he learned the most ancient (songs). Abdollah Davami also passed on to Shajarian his own interpretation of the Radif.
- Nushin medal (2008)
- The UNESCO award – the UNESCO Mozart Medal (2006)
- Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2006)
- Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2004)
- Iran’s best classical vocalist (2000)
- Golden Picasso Medal (1999), one of Europe’s highest honors presented by UNESCO in France.
- National radio and television golden cup (1977)
- Prize presented by Turkish parliament speaker (1976)