Docklands Sinfonia announced the winner of its worthy but tiringly titled Epic Persia composers’ competition, in which composers based in Iran were asked to write a work around the theme of C16th Shahnameh, or The Book of Kings by Ferdowsi. The 80-person British orchestra performs an evening of Persian music for which the winner’s piece is a central point of focus.
Ehsan Mohammadi composed ‘ Seventh Labour’ which was selected by a judging panel, chaired by Jeffery Wilson, Professor of Composition at Junior Guildhall and Cambridge University. Rostam’s Seventh Labour, whose title chimes with the seven labours or Hercules, is a dance-inspired piece which will now open Docklands Sinfonia’s Epic Persia concert at Cadogan Hall on Sunday October 19th 2014. Mohammadi wins £500 in prize money and will be flown to London by Docklands Sinfonia to hear the world premiere of his piece. Let’s just hope the UK government fives him his visa! Not long ago, even Abbas Kiarostami was refused one for his own opening at the London Opera.
The other 17 entries were all from Iran and this is the list the judging panel highly commended:
- Through the Blood of Siavash, by Ahmadreza Esmaeili
- Battle of Rostam and Esfandyar, by Ashkan Fakhr Tabatabaie
- Aerie; Realm of Simorgh, by Farshid Samandari
- Birth of Rostam, by Ehsan Eskandarzadeh Shanjani
- Battle of Zahhak and Fereydoon by Mahdis Golzar Kashani
The concert, which the sinfonia says is one of the first of its kind in Britain, showcases the works of some of Iran’s most respected and well-known composers and a classical music’s orientalist favourite “In a Persian Market” which you remember was reworked by Big City Orchestra – including Aminollah Hossein, Loris Tjeknavorian, Reza Vali and Mehran Rouhani.
- Ehsan Mohamadi – Rostam’s Seventh Labour (world premiere)
- Hossein Dehlavi – Suite Bijan and Manijeh
- Aminollah Hossein – Piano Concerto No. 3
- Albert Ketelbey – In a Persian Market
- Loris Tjeknavorian – Suite Rostam and Sohrab (UK premiere)
- Reza Vali – 3 Folk Songs (European premiere)
- Mehran Rouhani – Sheyda Fantasy (world premiere)
- Spencer Down – conductor
- Neysun Rouhani – piano
- Honey Rouhani – soprano
Venue: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ