Condolences pour in after passing of legendary Iranian singer

Condolences pour in after passing of legendary Iranian singer

Numerous foreign and Iranian officials have offered their heartfelt messages of condolence over the recent passing of legendary classical Iranian music singer, Maestro Mohammad-Reza Shajarian.

Shajarian, the country’s most prominent and internationally-acclaimed vocalist in the area of classical Persian music, passed away at the capital Tehran’s Jam Hospital at 80 on Thursday after suffering from kidney cancer for close to two decades.

Shajarian’s vocal genius heartened successive generations with countless live performances and as many as 60 albums. His body was laid to rest at renowned Persian poet Ferdowsi Tousi’s Mausoleum in northeastern Iran.

Audrey Azoulay, director-general of the United Nations’ cultural body UNESCO, lamented his demise in a Persian tweet, in which she called the virtuoso “the deathless legend” of the classical Persian music.

Azoulay reminded that Shajarian’s career won him UNESCO’s Picasso Medal in 1999 over his contribution to the enrichment and development of music, and the organization’s Mozart Medal in 2006.


محمدرضا #شجريان، اسطوره و ميراث جاودان موسيقی سنتی ايرانی بود. به پاس خلاقيت بینظير و تعهد سستی ناپذيرش به آزادی هنر، نشانهای افتخار پيكاسو و موتزارت #يونسكو به او اهدا شده بود. به نوای ماندگار او گوش بسپاريم:

— Audrey Azoulay (@AAzoulay) October 9, 2020


She said Shajarian was conferred with the accolades due to his “unparalleled creativity and unfaltering commitment to the freedom of the art.”

The UN mission in the Islamic Republic also expressed heartfelt sorrow over his demise in another Persian-language tweet.


از خبر درگذشت استاد بزرگ آواز ایران #محمدرضا_شجریان به شدت متاثر شدیم.

از طرف خانواده سازمان ملل متحد در ایران به خانواده شجریان و تمامی طرفداران ایشان در ایران و سراسر جهان تسلیت می‌گوییم.

روحشان قرین آرامش.

— United Nations Iran (@UN_Iran) October 8, 2020


Foreign embassies in Iran, including the French, Swiss, Austrian, and Azerbaijani missions, similarly extended their condolences over the loss.

The Swiss mission noted that Switzerland would hold the memory of Shajarian’s concerts in the cities of Lausanne and Zurich dear.

Elsewhere across the world, Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive officer of Afghanistan, Hisham Sharaf Abdullah, Yemeni National Salvation Government’s foreign minister, and Nechirvan Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan also offered their messages of sympathy.

The Afghan official said Shajarian’s passing had saddened and shaken “millions of people” across the world, especially in the region and throughout Persian-speaking countries, calling him “common cultural heritage” for the regional countries, while Barzani called him “an irreplaceable music legend.”


تنها صداست که می ماند...
بانهایت اندوه درگذشت خسرو آواز ایران زمین و اسطوره تکرار ناشدنی موسیقی را به خانواده محترم شجریان، جامعه هنری و دوستداران ایشان تسلیت عرض می نمایم.

— Nechirvan Barzani (@IKRPresident) October 8, 2020


At home, Shajarian was also remembered by a good many dignitaries.

Ali Larijani, former parliament speaker and current advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, called his voice part of the “Islamic-Iranian heritage.”

President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Ali-Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and Ali Rabi’ei, spokesman for the Iranian Administration, were among the other Iranian officials who offered their condolences to the nation. 

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