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Events > 2020


08. Hafez and Persian Poetry in Song (Part One)

11 October 2020, 14:00 - 15:00



Presented in association with TORCH, with support from the Humanities Cultural Programme, and the Ashmolean Museum

The focus of today is on Hafez, the 14th-century Persian poet, and his reception and influence on song across the centuries. In this first event, we root ourselves in the time of Hafez himself. Dominic Brookshaw, Fellow in Persian at Wadham College, introduces Hafez and the intricate poetic form of the ghazal in which he wrote, speaking from the Persian Library in Wadham College. Francesca Leoni, Assistant Keeper and Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean Museum, shows us several objects from the Museum’s collection, adding another layer to the cultural backdrop of medieval Persia. And British-Iranian composer Soosan Lolavar, Professor of Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, discusses Iranian musical traditions.

Interspersed throughout the event, British-Iranian soprano Soraya Mafi performs songs by Schubert (including the two dazzling Suleika songs) Schumann and Wolf. Soraya is one of today’s most exciting sopranos, described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘mercurial and sparkling’. She also performs a setting of Rumi, ‘Heart Snatcher’, by the young Iranian composer Mahdis Kashani. This Festival was supposed to include the UK premiere of a major new song cycle by Mahdis, which has now been postponed until 2021 unfortunately, so we are delighted to be able to include one of her existing works this year.

JOIN IN:
The talk and music for this event will be pre-recorded, but will be introduced live by our speakers, who will also be available to answer any questions at the end. During the event, please email any questions ([email protected]) or post them on social media (#OLF2020), and we will answer as many as time allows.

Artist Portrait

Dominic Brookshaw

Dominic Brookshaw

Speaker

Dominic Parviz Brookshaw is Senior Research Fellow in Persian at Wadham, and Associate Professor of Persian Literature at The Oriental Institute. He holds a DPhil from Oxford in medieval Persian poetry, and a BA from Oxford in Arabic with Persian. The current focus of Professor Brookshaw’s research is the intersection between performance, patronage, and desire in texts produced by poets and other literati who were active in Shiraz in the fourteenth century CE. In his wider research, Brookshaw examines the emergence and genesis ... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Francesca Leoni

Francesca Leoni

Speaker

Francesca Leoni has been curator of Islamic art at the Ashmolean Museum since 2011 (Yousef Jameel Curator, 2011–16). Prior to this she held curatorial and research posts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2008–11), Rice University (2008–10) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2007–8). Dr Leoni received her Laurea Degree in Oriental Languages and Civilisations from the Istituto Universitario L’Orientale di Napoli (1999), and her MA and PhD from Princeton University (2005, 2008). Dr Leoni’s resea... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Soosan Lolavar

Soosan Lolavar

Speaker

Soosan Lolavar is a British-Iranian composer, auto-ethnographer lecturer and project manager whose music has been performed across the UK, as well as in the USA, Canada, Iran, UAE, Japan, Chile and Australia. Her work has been broadcast on BBC television in both the UK and Iran as well as played several times on BBC Radio 3. Having studied Iranian classical music, with the help of a Fulbright Scholarship 2015-16. Her music draws on ideas from both Western and Iranian traditions. Her academic work considers contemporary composition practices ... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Soraya Mafi

Soraya Mafi

Soprano

Lancashire-born soprano Soraya Mafi studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal College of Music, supported by the Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Award. Soraya continues her studies with renowned soprano Janis Kelly and repertoire coach John Fraser. Soraya’s many awards and prizes include the Maggie Teyte Prize in 2014 and the Susan Chilcott Award in 2016. She was also the 2nd Prize winner of the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Soraya is a Harewood Young Artist of the English National Opera and Associate Artist of the Classi... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Sholto Kynoch

Sholto Kynoch

Pianist

Sholto Kynoch is a sought-after pianist who specialises in song and chamber music. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, which won a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2015, cited for its ‘breadth, depth and audacity’ of programming. Recent recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, the Zeist International Lied Festival in Holland, the LIFE Victoria festival and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Opéra de Lille, Kings Place in Lo... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Philip Ross Bullock

Philip Ross Bullock

Speaker

Philip Ross Bullock is Professor of Russian Literature and Music at the University of Oxford, Fellow and Tutor in Russian at Wadham College, Lecturer in Russian at Christ Church, Magdalen and Worcester Colleges, and Director of TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. Before coming to Oxford, he taught at University College London and Bangor University, and has held visiting fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Institute for Advanced Study in Paris. Philip studied French, German and Russian at Dur... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Laudan Nooshin

Laudan Nooshin

Speaker

Laudan Nooshin gained her BA in Music from the University of Leeds and her MMus in Ethnomusicology from Goldsmiths' College (University of London), where she also taught between 1987 and 1991. Her PhD (Goldsmiths' College, 1996) was a study of creative performance in Iranian classical music. Prior to joining City in 2004, she taught in the Department of Performing Arts at Brunel University. Laudan is an active researcher working in the broad fields of ethnomusicology, popular music studies and film music studies, with a focus on t... Read Full Biography

Tickets

Tickets
General Admission
Under 35s Ticket
£3.00
General Admission £3.00

Festival Passes

Tickets
General Admission
Pioneer Pass
£250.00
General Admission
Standard Festival Pass
£90.00
General Admission
Day Pass - 11 October
£35.00
General Admission
Under 35s Festival Pass
£25.00

More information about our Festival passes

This event is part of a series:

Connections Across Time - A Brief History of Song

Over a packed eight days, world-class artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly and Roderick Williams will present some 40 concerts and events, from venues across Oxford and completely live. From the comfort of your own home, you will be able to enjoy these concerts live-streamed in the highest quality. We’ll be exploring every possible advantage of this temporary ...

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