SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Iranian and American musicians join forces to spread joy amid the pandemic

A group of Iranian and American musicians are using digital media to create music together, which they hope will spread joy and promote unity at a time when...

Posted: Aug 1, 2020 10:34 AM
Updated: Aug 1, 2020 11:45 AM

A group of Iranian and American musicians are using digital media to create music together, which they hope will spread joy and promote unity at a time when the two countries with strained relations are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Singers from Washington, DC-based opera company IN Series and members of the Solidarity Chamber Orchestra of Tehran collaborated over video and other digital media to perform a rendition of German-British composer George Frideric Handel's 'Serse,' an operatic series based on the story of Xerxes I of Persia.

A video of the performance, produced with help from the North American Iranian Friendship Association (NAIFA), was released this week.

In the video, 19 musicians performed the musical composition in a socially distanced setting at Tehran's famed Roudaki Hall, while seven American opera singers in Washington sang along.

The performance was overlaid with recitations of poetry from Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet and philosopher.

Fatemeh Keshavarz, director of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, and Vahid Abideh, founder of the NAIFA, came up with the idea in April.

Besides a beautiful performance, Abideh told CNN they wanted to combine Western music with Persian poetry to help bridge the cultural divide between the United States and Iran.

'The musicians on both sides are tremendously excited about helping us transcend the toxic threats of war and sanctions, rise above politics, and acknowledge each other's art and humanity,' Keshavarz said in a statement.

'This is particularly needed at a time like this when the world is in the grips of a ferocious pandemic,' she said. 'It is a time to see each other's humanity and help each other heal. Nothing can do this better than art.'

Timothy Nelson, artistic director for IN Series, described the collaboration as an effort to 'make the impossible possible.'

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated which Iranian orchestra participated in the musical collaboration. It was the Solidarity Chamber Orchestra of Tehran.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 415767

Reported Deaths: 32694
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22546023536
Suffolk433001996
Nassau432712194
Westchester359741445
Rockland13880674
Orange11088489
Erie8548669
Monroe4742277
Dutchess4504153
Onondaga3477194
Albany2515126
Oneida2081112
Ulster202691
Sullivan148348
Niagara144496
Putnam142563
Broome104864
Schenectady103237
Rensselaer73430
Saratoga72617
Columbia51937
Madison39917
Ontario34934
Warren30033
Orleans29554
Steuben29042
Greene28918
Fulton28224
Genesee2725
St. Lawrence2614
Washington25514
Wayne2453
Oswego2443
Herkimer2404
Chautauqua2319
Tompkins2300
Chenango2096
Tioga18824
Livingston1668
Chemung1633
Cattaraugus1586
Montgomery1554
Cayuga1442
Jefferson1300
Clinton1274
Otsego1125
Wyoming1125
Delaware1034
Cortland910
Seneca853
Allegany741
Schoharie680
Essex550
Yates557
Franklin500
Lewis340
Schuyler220
Hamilton70
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Oneonta
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Herkimer
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Thendara
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left