A Review of Maestro Shahram Nazeri's Performance at International Conference for Feyli Kurds' Genocide in Erbil


Hamidreza Atefi, journalist and a member of the board of directors at Music Researchers' Association, has penned a review called "One Pain Equivalent to A Thousand Treatments" on Maestro Shahram Nazeri's performance at the international conference commemorating the anniversary of Feyli Kurds' Genocide.

The international scientific conference commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Feyli Kurds' Genocide consisted of lectures and attendance by prominent political, scientific, and cultural figures from the Kurdistan Region as well as different countries; the event was held by Salahaddin University of Erbil, Duhok, and Soran, featuring the Iranian tenor Maestro Shahram Nazeri accompanied with the Sanyar Ensemble which is led by Farid Elhami, and was held on 2-5 May, 2023, at Sa'd Abdullah Hall of Erbil, Kurdistan Region. Representatives of various institutions, university professors, political and cultural figures, as well as high-ranking Kurdish and non-Kurdish executives were present at this conference and said some words about this horrendous catastrophe. Mentioning the dimensions of the ruthless genocide of the 80s that resulted in the destruction of hundreds of villages that were populated by the Kurds, and massacring tens of thousands of innocent people, each lecturer condemned the sad incident.

Holding these events on an international scale will have tremendous and lasting impact on the enlightenment of public opinion and is the best and most civil way to prevent future catastrophes of the like.

Undoubtedly, it is only through cultural growth and the elevation of thought and the propagation of human sciences that one can hope for a brighter future accompanied with the peace and prosperity of human societies, and the cultural executives of Kurdistan Region have grasped the significance of this factor that there is no greater power than cultural strength as a fundamental infrastructure for the growth and expansion of all important aspects of government such as economy, politics, and other social sciences.  

However, while holding the conference, another noteworthy event occurred which was quite thought-provoking and that was the performance of Kurdish music by the Sanyar Ensemble led by Farid Elhami, and sang by Shahram Nazeri.  

The piece "The Rapture of Pain" (Shur-e Dard) was chosen to be performed at the anniversary of Feyli Kurds' Genocide, and it was masterfully presented. The music agenda of the conference was secured on short notice, and performing this song which holds much relevance and weight as if it was originally written for such an event was admirable. 

"The Rapture of Pain" is a song by Shahram Nazeri in Majnuni Maqam, released years before and arranged by Alireza Feiz Bashipour on the album "Mythical Chant" and had not been performed in any concerts of Iran. 

The impressive lyrics written by Seyyed Saleh Mahidashti eulogizing a dearly departed is very beautiful and in fact the vocabulary used are quite visual. The burning body of a survivor who has taken to the wilderness due to the tyranny of the times, shouting in pain out of missing his beloved and homeland, calling it some sort of artistic lament may not be a far-fetched idea. This heavenly voice and the sadness of that melody, with the mesmerizing arrangement of Farid Elhami, and the extraordinary and masterful performance of Shahram Nazeri, penetrates each singular cell of the listeners', filling the Sa'd Abdullah Hall with a meaningful silence. As the poets would say, the musical waves passed from the root of teeth to the depths of the soul in the audiences.

"The Rapture of Pain" revived the agony of Kurds' Genocide after 35 years in the very being of the audience, enticing such frenzy that cannot be put into words.

Another segment of the performance was presented by Sanyar Ensemble, without Shahram Nazeri, to perform the mourning music of Feyli Kurds. The beautiful lyrics of Behrouz Taheri was accompanied by the thousands-year-old sounds of Houreh and Mour, in such a subtle and masterful manner that for a couple of minutes took the breath of the audience away. Showing the archived footage of Feyli Genocide that were taken from the personal collection of the Kurdish researcher Ms. Edalat Omar, edited by Farid Elhami, visualized the depth of pain and sadness caused by this traumatic event for foreign viewers.     


The Sanyar Ensemble includes the following figures:

Farid Elhami – leader, singer, and Tanbur player

Saber Nazargahi – Divan 

Farnoud Elhami – Tanbur

Amin Heidari – Oud

Ehsan Abdipour – Kamancheh & Sorna

Nabil Yusef Sheridavi – Daf

Sepehr Zonnouri – Tanbur

Saeed Emami – Percussion instruments

Samaneh Nikkerdar – Percussion instruments

Ghazaleh Shirazi – Cello

Saba Mohammadi – Song

Sarvenaz Atefi – Tanbur

Diana Moradi – Tanbur





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