‘Bitterest day of my life’: Maestro quits Tehran

After a week of talks, Ali (Alexander) Rahbari today confirmed his resignation as music director of the Tehran Symphony Ochestra.

In his letter to the Culture Minister he writes:

‘After all these months I have arrived at this point where I cannot continue my cooperation with this unprofessional [Rudaki] foundation and I cannot tolerate the irresponsibility of the foundation. They want me to collaborate as a guest conductor so that I would not disturb their unprofessional and cruel behaviors, but I will not accept this…

‘How can one continue to work with these people and still produce international performances? They have disturbed our activities with their erroneous decisions. These people are the main reasons for my resignation…

‘Today is one of the bitterest days of my working life, when I have been forced to cancel concerts in China and Austria. I hope there will be a day when I can resume my work with the orchestra without these inefficient individuals.’


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  • it’s only partially a backward country, a religious minority who dominates the whole country. Under the Sjah Persia was a modern country with a great future…
    Rahbari is a very fine conductor, underrated and much better than many of the so called first-rankers at the Met

  • The major problem of Iran is not its government but lack of seriousness of its people in anything! arts, science, economy…it is all chaos and people postpone their duties and only HOPE for better instead of acting!
    I am not a famous musician but once I tried to form an orchestra in Tehran and did not give up for almost 2 years until I saw it is impossible! over 90% of Iranian (even classical!) musicians are non-serious and like to entertain and do not love music! if you LOVE music you will have discipline, you will not humiliate serious people (like Mr. Rahbari) and respect others.
    I left Iranians and joined Europeans who have more interest in music and life!
    I knew you would leave Iran and wonder how long it took to get to know your countrymen!

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