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Persian Liaisons

Persian Liaisons

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Gryphon Gallery, University of Melbourne,

MELBOURNE, 17 July 2012 – Committed to presenting work that explores the nature of cross-cultural boundaries and borders, Bridges Collective’s upcoming concert on 26 August 2012 features music that incorporates Persian folk idioms into a Western contemporary context.


Returning from a highly successful tour to Malaysia Bridges Collective Artistic Director and pianist Brenna Wee has brought together performers from a variety of cultural backgrounds for this next concert. ‘Persian Liaisons’ will feature Melbourne’s own Karen Heath (clarinet), Melbourne-born London resident Agatha Yim (flute), Malaysian-born Australian resident Wee, and recently-settled Australian residents Arya BastaniNezhad (flute, Persian Ney) from Shiraz and Melika Tehrani BastaniNezhad (soprano) from Tehran. The BastaniNezhads share Wee’s particular interest in cross-cultural pedagogical methodologies in music. Arya is an internationally known Ney expert and will give a lecture-demonstration on the Ney - one of the oldest instruments from the region.


‘Persian Liaisons’ showcases work by contemporary Iranian composers Siavash Beizai, Reza Vali and Morteza Hannaneh. Their compositions feature Iranian classical and folkloric elements fused with modern Western performance practices and compositional techniques. These Iranian composers' use of microtonality and Middle Eastern melismatic melodies within a Western musical framework produces a beautifully rich musical tapestry that is reminiscent of the art of Persian calligraphy.


Other composers profiled in this concert are Australian Katia Tiutiunnik and English Edward Gregson. Tiutiunnik’s works draw extensively on Mesopotamian elements while Gregson’s work, Aztec Dances, was inspired by an exhibition at the British Museum on Moctezuma, ruler of the ancient Aztec civilisation. Gregson’s work creates an exciting and exhilarating soundscape which evokes images of Amazonian rituals and dances and has been described as a piece that will ‘smash any of our prejudices to smithereens’.


The aim of Bridges Collective is to give Australian audiences the opportunity to hear composers that have expressed their multicultural experiences and journeys through creative works. Wee says: “Australia is becoming ever more cosmopolitan as it continues to open its doors to migrants, students and visitors from all around the world; and the impact of the myriad influences has found its way to the art and musical world. Our music programming aims to reflect this growing phenomena.”


Program details below.

For the 2012 season of concerts, go to:



Brenna Wee Piano

Agatha Yim Flute

Arya Bastani Nezhad Flute and Persian Ney

Melika Tehrani BastaniNezhad Soprano

Karen Heath Clarinet



Arya BastaniNezhad Improvisations on Iranian classical Ney


Siavash Beizai Sabunati (for voice, Ney and piano)


Iranian folk songs:

1. Sholeyl 2. Tobia 3. Kuhestan


Katia Tiutiunnik Lament of the flute for Dummuzi


Reza Vali Persian Suite (for flute and piano)


Morteza Hannaneh Ommagio a Ferdowsi


Edward Gregson Aztec Dances



Date: 26th August 2012

Time: 3.00pm

Venue: Gryphon Gallery, University of Melbourne,

Gate 8, Cnr Swanston and Grattan Sts, Parkville


Tickets: Adults $28.00 // Concession: $18.00 // Family (2 adults & 2 teens)*: $76

Online Discount:


Adults $24.00 // Conc: $16.00 // Family (2 adults & 2 teens): $70

* Children under 12: Free admission



On Aug 26
Aug 26, 2012 12:00 am
Gate 8, Cnr Swanston and Grattan Sts, Parkville Postcode not specified,