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Farshid Samandari

Farshid Samandari was born in Iran in 1971 into a prominent Bahà’i family. This meant that as a young youth living in Iran he experienced what was predestined for Bahà’i youth of his generation there: neither being allowed to pursue academic studies in any university not to leave the country, and in general he was deprived of basic human rights. He witnessed the imprisonment, tribulation, and martyrdom of many friends and teachers, as well as the confiscation of property, and he endured a ban on his music only because of his religious beliefs.

Notwithstanding these conditions he pursued his music studies, eventually teaching, founding, and directing an underground Iranian Bahà’i choir. Later he participated in founding a Music program in Bahà’i Open University, teaching and briefly directing it. In April 2001 he arrived in Canada where he has been working as a recital pianist, performing his own compositions, and as composer/director with a dozen of choirs and ensembles.

His music reflects his interest in contemporary classical vocabulary, spectral analysis, and extended techniques. In addition his profound faith in Unity and Diversity, has stirred him toward integration of different ethnic musics and vocabulary in his compositions. This vision has directed him to collaborate with a variety of choirs and ensembles including Tehran National Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Laudate Singers, Turning Point Ensemble, Nu:bc Ensemble, Red Chamber, Orchid, Parto, UBC guitar Quartet and Erato ensemble, as well as soloists such as Ariel Barnes, Jeremy Berkman, Mark McGregor, Beth Orson, Bo Peng, Michael Strutt, and Eric Wilson. Moreover, Vancouver Chamber Choir and Standing Wave Ensemble have also read his music.

He is a winner of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Olympic commissions premiered on May 2007. He joined the board of Vancouver Pro Musica since 2005 and has served as the president of the society since 2006. He is currently pursuing his studies towards a DMA in Composition at the University of British Columbia.


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Canadian Music Centre