Iran rejects music director’s resignation

Our informant in Teheran says the Iranian authorities have refused to accept Ali (Alexander) Rahbari’s resignation from the Tehran Symphony Orchestra.

In his resignation letter, Ali write: ‘Despite incorrect reports in the media, the players’ salaries were not paid completely and they do not have contracts for the future.

‘I have tolerated all these problems but I have no hope for collaborating with this unprofessional (Rudaki) foundation (through which the orchestra is funded). Therefore, I prefer to hand in my resignation and open the way for the musicians to find another organization with which to continue their careers.’

The Government now has a week to meet his reforms, or accept his resignation.




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    • It’s always dependent on which side of the prism are you standing. Iranian Sharia law, although brutal from the western standpoint of view, is far milder and much more tolerant than Saudi interpretation. Actually Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any symphony orchestra at all, and women have practically no rights, including the right to drive a car. From a Saudi’s side of view, Iran with it’s symphony orchestra and women allowed to play, has a highly liberal version of Sharia. But of course, no critic allowed on Saudi Arabia, as they are presiding the Human Rights Council of UN (?!), and they are an important and loyal ally of NATO. Don’t even dare to say anything against them.
      So, let’s spite meanwhile on Iran and it’s Sharia, paying the female members of the western-music-playing symphony orchestra salaries with a big delay, while ignoring and tolerating other Gulf states for their complete female oppression.

      • Interpretation is correct. Some Malaysian states have sharia law for their Muslim population and Malaysia has a professional western symphony orchestra – for now!

        Nor is Saudi Arabia the only western “ally” to implement the strictest form of that law. Two years ago another western ally, Brunei – remember the Sultan who came to Margaret Thatcher’s rescue by propping up sterling when it was crashing through the floor? – introduced it. The first of three stages is already in operation. For the others, read this from the Diplomat –

        “Brunei is currently in the process of implementing the second phase, which will introduce harsh punishments such as floggings and cutting off hands for property offenses.

        “The third and final phase, which will be implemented (by) 2016, will introduce executions, including stoning, for offenses like adultery, abortion, homosexuality/sodomy, and even blasphemy. (The Sultan) has defended his decision, saying that it was “not for fun, but to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran.”

        Brunei has an amateur orchestra which is dragged out from time to time to play for visiting dignitaries.

  • I’ve never understood the notion of the receiving party being allowed the choice of whether to “accept” a resignation. What part of “I quit” don’t they understand? Do they intend to force the guy to continue to work for them at gunpoint?

    • Maybe they have a contract with an agreed-upon early termination process? That would be a fair reason to not accept a resignation.

      • If so, his quitting early would likely give the orchestra reason not to pay him any remaining salary, severance, or perhaps even certain accrued benefits (pension), etc. But unless you’re willing to support some form of modern slavery or indentured servitude, you can’t force a guy continue to work for you or do a certain job if he simply says “I quit,” regardless of what a contract says about early termination, benefits, breach of contract, etc. If he is acting in breach of his contract, then the orchestra can pursue whatever damages are called for in the breach of contract clauses, but it is silly to simply say we don’t “accept” your resignation.

  • You can stop hating thinking. A little Googling, or also reading back issues of Slipped Disc, can relieve of blissful ignorance. The Teheran Symphony Orchestra exists for about up to twenty years now. Outside this there are smaller ensembles and soloists, various conservatories, even an emerging opera scene, Iran’s own traditional music, plus even a pop and experimental jazz culture. Slipped Dusc has reported every now and then.

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