Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, a singer, instrumentalist and composer who embodied traditional and classical music in Iran, died in Tehran on Thursday after a long battle with cancer, his son said.

Shajarian "flew to meet his beloved (God)", Homayoun Shajarian wrote on Instagram, days after the "Ostad", Master in Persian, was hospitalised.

According to Homayoun Shajarian’s explanation, Shajarian’s body will be transferred to Tus to be buried next to the tomb of Ferdowsi and Akhavan Sales .

Mohammad-Reza Shajarian (23 September 1940 – 8 October 2020) was an Iranian classical singer and Maestro (master) of Persian traditional music.

He has been called "Iran's greatest living maestro of Persian classical music." Shajarian is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy, and humanitarian activities

Shajarian was born in Mashhad, Iran, and started singing at the age of five, under the supervision of his father. At the age of twelve, he began studying the traditional classical repertoire known as the Radif. Shajarian started his singing career in 1959 at Radio Khorasan, rising to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing. His main teachers were Ahmad Ebadi, Esmaeil Mehrtash, Abdollah Davami, and Nour-Ali Boroumand. He also learned the vocal styles of singers from previous generations, including Reza Gholi Mirza Zelli, Fariborz Manouchehri, Ghamar Molouk Vaziri, Eghbal Azar, and Taj Isfahani. He has cited legendary Iranian tar musician Jalil Shahnaz as highly influential to his development, indicating that he has often tried to mimic Shahnaz's playing style in his singing.


Shajarian has collaborated with Parviz Meshkatian, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Sohrab Pournazeri, Hossein Alizadeh, and Faramarz Payvar. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in Best World Music 2004 and 2006, and was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a UNESCO Golden Picasso Medal in 1999. He was also decorated with France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in June 2014.

In March 2016, Shajarian revealed that he has had kidney cancer for the past fifteen years. He appeared with shaved hair in his Nowrouz congratulation video, published on his YouTube account.