Mohammad Reza Lotfi (Golestan)

Mohammad Reza Lotfi (Golestan)

Mohammad Reza Lotfi is a musician, composer, a gifted player of Setar, Tar and Kamancheh, researcher and teacher of traditional music of Iran. He was born on Dey 17, 1325 SH in the city of Gorgan.  Both of his parents were teachers. He says that he grew along with the Tar instrument of his brother. He finished his elementary education in Gorgan. Then he moved to Tehran to pursue playing of Tar.

He was admitted in the classes of National Music Art School. Lotfi benefited from the teachings of great masters such as Ali Akbar Shahnazi and Habibollah Salehi. He met musicians such as Hosein Alizadeh and Dariyush Talaee in public classes of Music Art School. It was during his education in Art School that he joined the orchestra of Saba, where he began his career as a Tar player. In 1352 Lotfi entered the Fine Arts Faculty of Tehran. He graduated with his final project “The Awaz Music of Iran – the School of Isfahan and Tabriz”. He was the director of Music department of Fine Arts Faculty of Tehran for a short period. He resigned from this position only one year and a half later. Mohammad Reza Lotfi began his official career in the field of Music in 1350 SH. By the support of Hushang Ebtehaj, a renowned poet of Iran, he formed a group, who, by the guidance of Ebtehaj, recreated the masterpieces of the past.

Since they recreated a work of Ali Akbar Sheida (a musician from Qajar dynasty), the group chose the name Sheida. Ebtehaj created a program in radio to better introduce the group. The program was called Golchin-e Hafteh (best of the week) and played the works of Sheida group every Friday morning. Following the incident of 17 Shahrivar 1357 SH, Lotfi resigned from the program in radio, and he was flowed by the group and Ebtehaj himself.  Later Lotfi and his group continued their works in the Cultural Center of Chavosh.  This center was composed of the Shedida group now directed by Lotfi as well as Aref group that was formed by composers Hosein Alizadeh and Parviz Meshkatian. The two groups secretly recorded tracks in the basement of Lotfi’s house and published them in the market until the Iranian Revolution. The very famous song “Iran, Ey Sarayeh Omid” is one of their works.

Mohammad Reza Lotfi is one of the most influential musicians that played the instrument Tar. In 1362 SH many young people became eager to learn this instrument after listening to the album “Remembering Darvish Khan”. They were so enthusiastic that the Chavosh center proved to be insufficient to teach all of them. Lotfi lived in U.S from 1365 to 1385 SH. When he returned to Iran, he began teaching pupils in the Maktab of Mirza Abdollah’s house. The renowned artist passed away in 12 Ordibehesht 1393 SH as the result of cancer. He is buried in his birthplace, Gorgan.

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