(Norman, Okla) February 18, 2011— The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents Iranian classical music by The Oshagh (owsh-aagh) Ensemble as part of the Masala World Music Series at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 6, in Sharp Concert Hall. The ensemble features Siamak Shajarian (siy-aa-maek Shae-jhae-riy-aan), vocalist, accompanied by Esmaeel Tehrani (Ihs-maa-ihl Teh-raa-niy), on the santour (hammer dulcimer) and Shahram Mazhari (shae-h-raom Maez-hae-riy) on the tombak (goblet drum).

The ensemble also will present a workshop from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 5, in the Scholars Room located inside the Oklahoma Memorial Union. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Established in 1980, The Oshagh Ensemble is committed to preserving and promoting Iranian or Persian classical music in the United States. Persian music is an art form that has its roots in thousands of years of emotions, feelings, and thoughts of the people of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.  Sometimes non-measured recitative, and sometimes highly rhythmic, it alternates between a mood of profound meditation, a longing for the absolute and an exultant joyfulness.


The repertoire of classical Iranian music is called Radif, which means “arrangement” and “order.” Partly composed, partly improvised, the music is predominantly instrumental, but the style as well as the terminology is derived from vocal models. Ornamentation and improvisation based on twelve principal modes also play important roles in this music. The words of both composed and improvised singing (chanting) are usually taken from the great contemporary and classics of Persian literature.


All Masala Series performances are in OU’s Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd, in your OU Arts District! Tickets for Masala Series events are $8 for adults and $5 for students, faculty, staff and senior adults. For tickets and up-to-date information call the Fine Arts Box Office at (405) 325-4101.


This event is sponsored by The Masala World Music Series of the School of Music, The Center for Middle East Studies, the Farzaneh Family Lectureship and the Union Programming Board at the University of Oklahoma.


Please visit http://music.ou.edu/ for a full calendar of events and performances at the School of Music.


The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the Box Office at (405) 325-4101.



Holly Jones
Public Relations Coordinator
Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts
University of Oklahoma
(405) 325-6673