The documentary "Hayedeh, Legendary Persian Diva" is the first cinematic project of Pejman Akbarzadeh, exiled pianist, music researcher and journalist in the Netherlands.
Pejman Akbarzadeh was born in 1980 in Shiraz and received his first piano lessons at the age of nine from Gholam Loghmani and later from Bahram Nasrollahi.
He continued his piano studies more seriously with Farman Behboud, former professor at the Tehran Conservatory.
At the age of 15, Pejman started to research the artistic activities of 20th century Persian (Iranian) musicians.
In 1998, he finished the first volume of his research on the composers and conductors, which was published in 2000.
- Pejman Akbarzadeh, Tropen Theatre, Amsterdam, 2009
(Photo by Jos van Zetten)
The book was dubbed the "honor of Persian musicological circles" by Maryland-based 'Iranian Musicology Quarterly' and became a source of reference for various publications such as the 'Encyclopedia Iranica', published by Iranian Studies department of Columbia University, NY.
Prof. Ehsan Yarshater, editor of the encyclopedia described this research as " well-researched, factual, devoid of usual sentimentality and exaggerations, and extraneous material".
In the years 2001-2005, Pejman Akbarzadeh worked with various reformist Persian-language newspapers in Tehran such as the dailies "Yas-e No" and "Shargh," both of which were banned by the Iranian government. Some of his articles (mostly on music, culture and history) were also published in the U.S.-based "Persian Heritage" magazine, "Payvand News", etc. He briefly freelanced for the BBC Persian Service.
Pejman with his colleagues at Shargh Newspaper office, Tehran, Summer 2006
From 2002 to 2006, Pejman was the representative of "Persian Gulf Online" organization in Tehran. As the youngest lecturer, he gave a few lectures in the field of Persian Gulf studies at the Persian Studies Foundation's Conference in Shiraz and the Artists' Forum in Tehran.
In 2006, due to the critical situation of the media, growing restrictions in Iran, and in order to continue his music activities, Pejman moved to the Netherlands; Since that time he is a senior producer at Radio Zamaneh in Amsterdam.
He Also performed the first Persian piano recital in the Dutch capital in March 2008; The sold-out concert at Bethanienklooster resulted in further invitations to perform in other Dutch cities and also Germany.
Pejman Akbarzadeh and Prof. Ahmad Eghtedari, Persian Gulf Studies Conference, Hafez Hall, Shiraz, Winter 2005
In August 2008 Pejman dedicated his recital at the University of Cologne to his fellow Ahmad Batebi, the symbol of pro-democracy movement of Tehran University students, who in the same year fled to the United States after nine years of imprisonment.
The recital was cited as 'Grand Dedication' in Iranian.com and Mahmoud Khoshnam described the performance as "soft and sensitive, and at the same time, one with command and self-confidence."
In late 2008 Pejman also finished his documentary about the Legendary Persian diva Hayedeh who passed away in exile in 1990. The Persian-American director Reza Badiyi on Radio 670 KIRN described that as a "Chapter on the beauties of Hayedeh life" and the documentary was nominated as the "best documentary" at Noor Film Festival in Los Angeles.
The documentary was also screened at International Exile Film Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Iranian Film Festival in Zaandam, Holland, in 2009. Afshin Ellian, law professor at Leiden University in an article for Dutch magazine 'Elsevier' wrote: "The religion that does not want to hear this divine voice [...] does not belong in the world of freedom and civilisation. Don’t tell me Islam is a normal religion. Islam is a disaster, a tsunami that destroys different opinions and different cultures."
In Summer 2009 following the pro-freedom demonstrations in Persia (Iran) which turned to blood, Pejman joined the solidarity events in Europe with the people of his homeland; performing at Holland's Iranian Artists Eve in Amsterdam, "International Solidarity Conference with Iran's Students" at the University of Delft, Human Rights and Press Freedom Conference at Amsterdam's Tropen Theatre and coopration with UNITED4IRAN demonstrations were among them.
In 2010 he created the Persian Dutch Network to introduce Persian culture in The Netherlands and also makes Persians and Dutch people more closer tp eachother.
Left to right: Pejman Akbarzadeh, Shirin Ebadi (Nobel peace prize winner),
Shahin Najafi (rapper), UNITED4IRAN demonstration
Amsterdam, July 2009
- Contact info: pejman.akbarzadeh [at] gmail.com
(More info. on www.PejmanAkbarzadeh.nl)