I did not believe this would be my last conversation with Master Ghavami’s wife.

What subjects and questions did I bring up with the Master’s wife during those days? What did she reply? I searched all my papers and finally I found them among the old papers. Let me go back to10 years ago, when I talked with Master Ghavami’s wife on the phone; and the result turned out as an interview that was never published up to today.  With great regret the Master’s wife was suffering from Alzheimer during the last years of her life and was undergoing medical treatment till she passed away on 14/07/2010, at the age of 85, at UCLA hospital in USA.

I was deeply sad when I heard she has passed away; since I had lots of memories with her since I was a young man up to the present time, that are unforgettable for me. 

Below you will read the interview I, Kamran Maleki, grandson of Master Ghavami’s brother, directly had with Ms. Heshmat Al Molook Moshiri, Master Ghavami’s wife, on the phone from Tehran to Los Angles, USA, that is a diverse interview and is quoted from what she has said.

Although, due to her illness she could hardly speak; but she said I love you and your mother so much that I cannot reject this interview.  She was excited when she heard my voice, accepted to have the interview, talk about herself, and her memories with the Master.

همسراستاد قوامی

Heshmat Al Molook Moshiri

He was born in May 1909 in Tehran, his ancestors were from Shiraz, and his father was Reza Gholi Ghavami. Master Ghavami was active in singing original Iranian music and knew all the tunes and keys very well.  He started music and singing lessons with Master Abdollah Hejazi in 1925-1926.

Please talk about your father, brother, and sister, when were you born, and how you met Master Ghavami?

I was born on 21/03/1994.My father was General Jafar Moshiri.I have a brother, three step sisters, a step brother, and my step brother passed away when he was quite young.Ghavami has built the house on Gholhak street.  I might have said in my previous interviews that my father was in the military and Ghavami was also working at the military. Ghavami and I were living in the same neighbourhood. One day Ghavami talked about our marriage with my father, and came to our house to discuss the subject with him.  Sometime later he saw me on the street and repeated his marriage proposal to me; I told him that I have to talk with my father. Of course, I talked about this subject with my father a number of times; but he was strongly against this marriage.

What was the reason for your father’s disapproval?

First, he said that the age difference of Ghavami and I was 15 years.  One of the other reasons was that he believed I would have better chances for marriage.  But, since I was a child I loved people with nice personality; therefore, I showed my interest in this marriage, and my response was positive.  

Did the age difference between you and the Master affected your mutual life?

Not at all.  As I told you, he was such a happy person that I did not feel this age difference.  Ghavami continued talking to my father till he approved our marriage; and we got married in September 1939.  We had a very nice wedding party at Eghtedar Nezam Garden (a garden that belonged to my father’s uncle), a number of musicians and high ranking people during that period were present at our wedding party, and we had a great life together up to 1989.

How many children do you have and have you thought about getting married after the Master passed away?

Regarding the first part of your question, I have five children, four sons and a daughter.  My first child is Alireza that we call him Fariborz, then Farhad, Faramarz, Faraokh, and my daughter Fattaneh.  All of them live in USA except Fariborz who lives in Canada.

Regarding the second part of your question; although I was not that young, I had many suitors. Our friends in Iran and USA were constantly telling me to get married, so that you will not be alone. But, after Ghavami, I was not thinking about anyone else and my response was negative; since Ghavami was always in my mind and in front of me.

استاد قوامی و تجویدی

Master Hossein Ghavami and Master Ali Tajvidi

You said that Master sang the song “Where are you the Angle?” for you, is this correct?

You pointed to a good subject. The day this song was composed I was at home and Mr. Tajvidi, Ms. Aafat, the singer, Ms. Mahin Bozorgi, the interpreter, Ms. Fakhri Nikzad and Ms. Roshanak, the great declaimers of our country, and Mr. Akbar Golpayegani were at our house when my husband came home with a nice bouquet of flowers. He said, please turn on the radio, since within half an hour they are going to broadcast a new song that I have sang it for you. It was right, the speaker introduced and broadcasted the song “Where are you the Angle” that the grand orchestra of the radio was playing and Ghavami was singing the song for me.  

Was the Master interested in any other arts besides singing?

Whenever Master Ghavami was alone he would read books, particularly old musicians’ books and sometimes he entertained himself by planting flowers in our garden.

Do you remember which of his pieces he used to murmur quite often when he was alone?

I sometimes heard him murmuring “Separation Eve” and “Youth” when he was alone, he liked them very much.

How was the situation of music after the Revolution in the viewpoint of Master Ghavami?

Master Ghavami always used to say that some of the songs and voices are excellent regarding the melody and performance.However, he was very worried about the traditional music and young generation; since he thought maybe no better musical pieces and melodies would be composed within the next years; the period that we are not here anymore. If Ghavami was still alive and would see what type of music pieces are composed, what type of singers are going on the stage, both in Iran and USA; that unfortunately none of them have a nice voice and the verses are becoming meaningless, he would be very depressed.

What do you think about the future of Iranian music?

Up to the time human feelings and morality exist, art will continue to develop, like the water that floats in the slope, and will take over a greater space. Eventually, music that is the best type of art for expressing the motives of human being will continue this development.  Therefore, no power could move science backward; and certainly, music that is among mathematics, cannot be regressive and for sure Iranian music will be in connection with the world music. In fact, regarding the orchestras and harmonies we have been influenced by the developed scientific music; and in the past other countries have been affected by us and this type of relationship has been and will continue to be in literature, languages, and arts. Therefore, a great future is foreseen for our traditional music.
Did you ever helped Master Ghavami regarding music and are you familiar with any Iranian musical instruments? Have you done anything regarding poetry and music?
Regarding the first question, I remember that in the old times, 1951, there was no music papers in Iran.  I used to draw the five lines with Chinese ink on the paper, this was what Master Ghavami wanted me to do to help him; since he had to perform an Abu Atta song at the radio at the presence of Master Saba.  I drew part of the lines and wrote the notes with Master Ghavami’s help. It was late after midnight when he told me to go to bed, I will do the rest by myself, I told him I will stay awake up to the time you are up, till we finish this.  Thanks God, it was done perfectly and Master Ghavami performed this song in 1959 at the National Iranian Radio.
Regarding the second question, the answer is no, I was not acquainted with the Iranian musical instruments that much; and only whenever our friends or musicians came to our house, and played music for Ghavami, I watched their hands so that I may learn something.
Each time I talk to you, you seem very anxious to return to Iran, then why did you travel out of Iran?
I left Iran because of my son Farrokh and his job; whether not I was not that much interested in moving to US. Meanwhile, none of my children and Master Ghavami’s relatives were in Iran and they are all in US. I had friends in Iran and we used to get together; but here in US I do not see that many people. Everybody is busy with his own work, the distances are quite far, they get home at night while they are tired, and take a rest to be ready to go back to work in the morning. I do not like US at all and if it was not because of my son, Farrokh, my children who are here, and especially one of my grandchildren who is working, is married, has children, takes good care of me and his mother, I would not reside here. I miss Iran a lot, particularly for visiting you, and I am counting the days to come to Iran, even just for a week, to see all my dear ones. 
استاد تجویدی2

Did the Master sing any duets with female Iranian singers?  Do you remember their names?

Yes, he has sung duets with a number of singers at “Flowers” program. Of course, they were singing one by one. For example, Master Ghavami would sing a verse and the female singer would sing the other part of it.  Master Ghavami has performed duets with these singers: Ms. Pooran, Parvin, Elahe, Roya, and many others that I do not remember their names.

The Master was invited several times to other countries; where these trips for performance or just to visit, and get acquainted with the music of other countries?  Were you accompanying the Master in these trips?

Yes, the Master used to go to foreign countries quite often; but he was invited by the music councils of different countries and he was present at these ceremonies; but I did not accompany him in these trips.  Of course, I should mention that we had travelled abroad together many times. One of these was by the invitation of King of Afghanistan; and many Iranian musicians were accompanying Master Ghavami. Ms. Pooran, the singer was present too and the two of them sang at these ceremonies.  

Another ceremony was held in Paris by UNESCO and “Yehudi Menuhin”, the great violinist was present there.  It was a great ceremony to honor the voice of Mater Ghavami and a book was presented to him that was written by Menuhin based on the vocals and character of Master Ghavami. I was present at this ceremony too.  

Were any Iranians present at the ceremony that was held in Paris?

Many Iranians who were residing in Paris were present, i.e., Mr. Hooshang Ostovar (Iranian musician and composer who lived in Paris), many French people, as well as many students of the great violinist, Yehudi Menuhin.  It was highly admired; and even the Head of Paris City Council went on the stage after the performance was finished and personally invited Master Ghavami to visit Paris again and perform some more programs along with Great Yehudi Menuhin. At the end, Yehudi Menuhin, the great violinist, played the song “Where are you the Angle?”, the audience gave lots of flowers to the Master, and the program finished.

How did you get along with the Master’s delicate moralities?  

Please do not ask about this special subject! Not only Master Ghavami; rather all artists have a very delicate and fragile mentality.  You can never talk to them with a loud voice. I never involved myself; since they get upset like a bird with the smallest loud expression.


استاد قوامی 7

Among the friends and artists who used to come to your house, which were your favorites and you wished they would come more often?

Of course, you were at our house and you saw that we welcomed everybody, we had lots of visitors, and were never alone.  Among the artists who used to come to our house were Messrs. Ebadi, Tajvidi, Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri, Golshan Ebrahimi, and Ms. Delkash.  I loved all of them; since whoever Master Ghavami liked, I liked them too. One of them were you and all three of us loved you very much; especially Master Ghavami.  Whenever you were late, he told me, call and see where is Kamran, he is late; since if he did not hear your jokes he would be depressed. During the recent period, Mr. Shahram Nazeri used to come to our house more often; since he had a special feeling towards Master Ghavami and the Master liked him very much.

How did you spend your time after his loss; sometimes living with artists and those who are very famous is difficult and could hurt you.  What type of feeling such event creates in you?
Regarding your first question, we lived together for 50 years, we were highly used to each other. Now, whenever I look to the past and see he is not among us, I feel I have been left alone in my mid-life; and am like a person who is watching down from an elevation and everything seems to be far, strange, and small.  I have lost a person whom I have walked with him for 50 years in our life, I have passed the ups and downs, and whenever I faced a problem, I received his support, and we solved the problem together. Now, I am keeping myself happy with the old memories. Whenever I get depressed, I sit by the window, with a cup of tea or coffee, put on one of his songs, listen and weep, and talk to his picture till I relax. 
Regarding your second question, you are right.  Our problem is that the society is always watching us and we are not comfortable. Of course, I have always tried to remember that each artist has become famous because of special attention of people.  Therefore, it was always interesting for me to meet people; and thus, I found very good friends even among the friends of Master Ghavami. 
Now that we talked about the Master’s voice, have you ever thought to collect his works, like Ms. Banan who has collected all the works of Master Banan, have you done this?
Yes, I received many offers in this respect; however, I was not able to follow up. Ms. Banan was healthier than me, followed up this matter, and was very successful.  Fariborz, my eldest son who came to Iran in 1994 talked to a person who was the CD producer of Mr. Ali Reza Eftekhari; but unfortunately, he had to return to Canada and this was not done. You had also talked with the manager of Mr. Ali Reza Eftekhari to reproduce the works of Master Ghavami; and they had told you the same story. My son Fariborz, left some of the tapes, reels and the old reel unit of Master Ghavami for the Master’s nephew.  Of course, some of Master Ghavami’s works have been reproduced and are available at CD shops and book stores.
استاد قوامی4
Master Faramarz Payvar, Majid Najahi, Hossein Ghavami, Mohammad MirNaghibi
Do you remember that one of the Master’s nephew’s voice was similar to the Master. Was he trained by the Master?  Did you encourage him to produce CDs?
Yes, I remember, and if I do not mix up, his name is Hossein Ghavami and lives in Germany. I remember that you and Hossein were singing together the songs “Youth and Where are you the Angle?’ You sang very well and it reminded Master Ghavami for me. He had a beautiful voice.  
Regarding your second question, Master Ghavami had listened to Hossein and he wished he could train him, if he was feeling well; but unfortunately, his illness did not give him this opportunity. 
Regarding your third question, you who are also working in music told him many times to produce CDs, I told him the same, others, both in Iran and Germany where he is living were telling him as well.  But maybe he was not interested and you cannot force anyone to do something.

Were you studying at a special school?

I was going to Zhandark French School in 1932. It is interesting that one of my classmates in this school who was a very talented and a first-grade student is your aunt.  I studied at this school till 9th grade. I was also a very good student and a first-grader.  My father wished to send me to British Royal College; since he had many colleagues there. Although I was a good student and my father was determined to send me, I did not want to go. I studied French and English for 4 years at the international section of Zhandark School and then got married.

What type of voices did the Master approve and did you have the same idea in this regard?

Master Ghavami used to say a voice should have a melody, voice is a gift given by God, that means the singer should have a special throat and voice. Master Ghavami and I enjoyed the voice of Banan, Shajarian, Mahmood Khonsari, and Iraj. These voices are unique.  I have always stated that please play songs from Ghavami and Banan in my funeral ceremony.

Are any of your children performing any art works? With such a father, who is the master of voice. Are they interested to continue their father’s career? Did you wish that your grandchildren would inherit from their grandfather and become musicians or singers?

Regarding the first question, the answer is no.  None of them are active in this field and do not have a special voice.  But this talent exists in you and other nephews. Of course, my youngest son used to play the organ and do some painting; but the others were not interested.

Regarding your second question, I wished they would; but none of them have such a talent. I wish they would be successful in whatever they like, a musician, a singer, or any other position.

In the past you had referred to recording a song by Master Ghavami and Ms. Ghamar Al Molook Vaziri, do you remember it?

Yes, once Master Saba had to compose a song for Ms. Ghamar Al Molook Vaziri and Ms. Khatereh Parvaneh.  Part of the work was ready when he talked to Master Ghavami and told him that I have composed a song for these two singers and now we need the voice of a man that is tired and clear to sing some parts; and Mr. Saba and Mr. Amir Jahed introduced Master Ghavami to Ms. Ghamar Al Molook Vaziri and Ms. Khatereh Parvaneh.  The two ladies who were acquainted with the voice and work of Master Ghavami welcomed this proposal and said, who could be better than Master Hossein Ghavami.  This song was composed in Abu-Atta format, Mr. Saba played the violin, Mr. Amir Jahed who was the director of Music Academy completed it, and it was recorded on Polyphone records, in the best way possible.    

It was a work Master Ghavami liked very much and used to say it was great.  But as Mr. Amir Jahed told us, two nights later, the worker who used to clean the studio, leaves his cigarette on the record box to move some instruments, then he forgets to take the cigarette, locks the door and leaves the studio, this results in a big fire, and most of the records and the works of these three were burned.  

So, this was one of the valuable works of Master Ghavami, Ms. Ghamar Al Molook Vaziri, and Ms. Khaterhe Parvaneh? 

Yes, that’s right.  Their work was among the burned records of the gramophone.  They were all very depressed; however, they did not try to sing this song once more after the records were burned.

استاد قوامیHow much attention did the Master pay to the viewpoints of the people?

Despite what some people believe; he always used to say I think that majority of people are not unable to understand a good work and art.  We should not consider people do not have any taste or thought. If people would not be there, who will be the buyer of art? We shall consider these people. Still music has kept its position among people.  

In your viewpoint, would people get bored from the present-day music that is rootless?

It’s right that a great work never becomes old and still the works of old composers i.e., Bach Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart,Tchaikovsky, and some others are always on the top.  However, regarding modern music, good works have been presented that would certainly find their position gradually in the world.  As an example, considering the voice and the singer we could name Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias, Whitney Houston, etc. that after many years, they still perform at largest music halls in the world, the tickets are sold out some months prior to the concert, and a huge crowd listen to these concerts with great singers in these halls i.e., in Royal Albert Hall in London or Metropolitan in New York. 

Once I talked to you about two sculptors to build a statue of the Master; do you remember their names?

Yes, I remember. One was Mr. Saeed Lankarani and the other was Mr. Ali Reza Khaghani, who are genius in sculpturing and were supposed to build a statue of Master Ghavami. But I did not have any communication with them later, and I cannot talk about this subject any more.  I think you talked with the two of them; and they were supposed to reply to you.  I hope, if they liked, they would have done this; so, that a statue would be left from Master Ghavami as a memory.

Did the Master help you with the house work in the past? At present that you are in US, do you still cook and do the housework, and do you still enjoy it?

When I was in Iran I used to do the house work and Master Ghavami tried his best along me. Naturally, shopping, cooking, and house work, is the responsibility of the housewife; of course, I had a maid.

Master Ghavami used to spend most of his time out of the house.  Artists and friends would pick him up and take him to parties and ceremonies; but he tried to help me as much as he could.

Regarding your second question, at present I can do a little part of the house work.  My daughter and the maid they have hired for me are taking care of me.  Of course, I have not forgotten anything and like them.

During those days how did the people treat Master Ghavami when they saw him on the street?

Any time we were out together, I noticed that he was highly attracting the people.  People love their artist very much.  Whenever we went to a fruit shop or florist, the store-keepers served him some fruit and told him if you do not eat, we would not sell you, or gave him a flower as a gift.  The young people would gather around him on the street and ask him about music and teaching how to sing.  He used to answer them with a special patience; and when he wanted to say goodbye, they were all upset, and told him they want to see him again.  He used to tell them I am ready, ask me whenever you have any questions, I am always ready to meet you my dears.

A song was composed for Master Ghavami by Mr. Homayoon Khorram, with the cooperation and coordination of Mr. Emad Ram named “The Spring of Lovers”.  Were you there the day it was recorded?

Yes, it’s right, a song with this name was composed by Mr. Homayoon Khorram for Master Ghavami.  Although he was sick, he sang the song in the best manner, it was recorded in a private studio; and was the last piece left from his voice.  I was not there when they were recording the song.  Master Ghavami felt the impression of the poem and music when he recorded a song; and usually he was singing in a manner that the poet and the composer were shocked.

In 1988, a tape was made and broadcasted named “Song of Fakhteh”, the music was composed by Mr. Emad Ram, with Master Ghavami’s voice, and poems form Hafez and Nima.   In 1990 another tape was recorded and broadcasted called “Spring of Lovers” that was a master piece by Mr. Homayoon Khorram, with Mr. Ghavami’s voice, and poems from Mollana. Both tapes were fantastic and demonstrated that this artist had the same warm and attractive voice in his 80s and the voice of such a person would never vanish.

During the Master’s life, either before or after the Revolution, how many times he had been honored and awarded?

There were several occasions before and after the Revolution.  For example, when he was retired a glamorous ceremony was held in 1962 at Keyhan Newspaper head office, and Mr. Roohollah Khaleghi gave a lecture about the personality and voice of Master Ghavami.  After the Revolution, almost every year a different ceremony was held; and in 1989, prior to his death, a nominal ceremony was held at the Art Hall by the authorities of Ministry of Supervision, and an honorary Doctorate Degree in music was given to him by a number of music masters and the government.

Some other ceremonies were held after his death, one in Germany in 1990 that Mr. Hossein Seifizadeh was singing. Another ceremony was held in Tokyo, Japan, by Ms. Hanshi Yu, the Japanese lady who visited Iran on behalf of the Japan Ministry of Culture for the 11th anniversary of the Revolution, and you brought her to our house to visit and have a chat with us. At this memorial ceremony, Dr. Maz Kushi Vansha the Japanese violinist, who is as great as Yehudi Menuhin, played the song “Where are you the Angle” at the music hall, and the ceremony was finished by giving a photo of Master Ghavami to the musicians and singers at the hall.

استاد قوامی 5

At present, what do you expect from the country’s authorities like the minster of supervision, the head of the radio and television, and the President regarding registration of Master Ghavami’s works?

Let me send my warm greetings to all the country’s authorities from long distance. I hope the government would allocate a special position for all the original and real artists of our country, who are part of our culture and national assets.   Meanwhile, I wish to thank the management of radio and television for broadcasting the voice or image of Master Ghavami, that keeps his name live in the art domain.

You talked about Mr. Hooshang Ostovar (the Iranian musician and composer who is residing in Paris); and said that he had a talent for singing and came to visit Master Ghavami.  Do you remember anything from that day and could you talk about it?

Yes, I remember, he came to Iran in 1988, and came to have a voice test with Master Ghavami.  His voice was not bad, he asked a few questions from Master Ghavami, and sang a little. Master Ghavami told him, you have the readiness; but since I am not feeling well, I cannot teach you; I will ask my friend  Mr. Mohammad Reza Shajarian to train you.

Did you know about this program that was broadcasted from channel 4 of the television named The Iranian Melody, that some of the university music professors were present at this program and talked about Master Ghavami, and one of the guests was Master Ghavami’s nephew?

I heard that a program was broadcasted and Mr. Mohammad Reza Jafari was the producer and director, Mr. Dariush Pirniakan and Dr. Shahin Farhat were present at this program, they talked about Master Ghavami, and each expressed their viewpoints.  The other person who was invited was Mr. Masood Ghoreishi, the nephew of Master Ghavami.  He talked about his uncle, Master Ghavami, the movie is available, it was an interesting program, and I saw it sometime ago. 

Generally, I believe that Master Ghavami and Mr. Ghoreishi had a special feeling towards each other.  I remember that he played the violin quite well, and have witnessed that Master Ghavami sometimes performed smoothly some pieces with the musical instrument of Mr. Ghoreishi.  I remember when Mr. Ghoreishi was working at the radio, he met Mr. Davood Pirnia the organizer and performer of Flowers Program in 1959, and were acquainted.  One day Mr. Pirnia finds out about the familial relationship and asks Mr. Ghoreishi to formally invite the Master to the radio, then Mr. Ghoreishi accompanies Master Ghavami to the Flowers Studio and puts the hands of this two people together. 

In the meantime, during the past years, the Culture Radio and Youth Radio had telephone interviews with Mr. Ghoreishi about Master Ghavami.  I shall emphasize that Mr. Ghoreishi has full authority and represents our family for attending the ceremonies that are held for honoring Master Ghavami and receiving any awards.

I asked, now that you talked about television program, do you remember the two memories you have; one from channel one of the television that once they came to your house; and the next one from the hospital, that the three of us went.  Do you remember what happened on these days?

The Master’s wife paused for a few seconds and then said yes, I remember.  Regarding your first question, in 1989 a person named Mr. Vahid Rasouli who was working in Channel One of the television, had visited a few times a person who was a tailor and had rented our garage.  One day when Mr. Vahid Rasouli was visiting the tailor, you were standing there too. That person asks you to talk to the Master, so that he could have an interview with the Master.  Both of you told him that the Master is not feeling well and it’s not suitable to have an interview with him.  However, we would talk to him.

Afterwards, you, me, and the tailor talked about this subject with Master Ghavami; but since he was not feeling well, he was not ready to have an interview.  However, due to our insistence, that it does not matter, and this interview will become a memory; Master Ghavami accepted to have the interview. Mr. Vahid Rasouli came to our house with some of Channel 1 staff.  It was a very interesting interview and after Master Ghavami passed away. This interview was broadcasted on the 40th day after Master Gahvami’s death from Channel 1 and was very popular.

Regarding your second question, the memory from the hospital. One day you and I took Master Ghavami for a checkup to Iran Mehr Hospital.  A young girl who was a nurse came into the room to change his pads.  When she finished, the nurse told Master Ghavami you have a loving face.  Master Ghavami said, my daughter, do you know me? The nurse said no.  Master Ghavami said, you are right, you are too young to know me.  Then you told to the nurse that he is Master Ghavami the singer of “Where are you the Angle”. The nurse was delighted and said the famous “Where are you the Angle” by Mr. Homayoon Khorram?  I told her you are right. The nurse said I have listened to this song and me and my family like it.  

Then the nurse embraced the hands of Master Ghavami, kissed them, and said I am Nora Hakhbandian, the cousin of Varouzhan Hakhbandian, the musician and composer.  Master Ghavami told her I know some of his works, He is a great composer and well experienced in his job.  This is what happened and the nurse turned to be the relative of one of the best composers of our country.  The nurse came a few times to our house to change the pads; and Master Ghavami signed and gave the tape of Sargashteh to the cousin of Varouzhan as a gift. 

استاد قوامی 9

You referred to the trip of Master to France and Menuhin; could you please talk a little about those days.The three-and-a-half-hour meeting with the foreign news media in France, the lecture of Professor Bahram Bahari at Sorbonne University, Dr. Parviz Tajvidi, cousin of Master Tajvidi, and the reporters of famous newspapers from different countries who had interviewed the Master and those who accompanied him. The interviews at Shiraz Art Festival in 1968 by Mr. Hami, reporter of Keyhan Newspaper; Mr. Fereydoon Khadem, director of public relations of National Iranian Television; and Mr. Ali Mortazavi, director of Pen and Art magazine. Did the Master talk to you about these programs when he returned to Iran? Did he bring any of the newspapers that had an interview with him? Do you have any copies of the interviews in Shiraz with Kayhan and Etelaat newspapers?

You brought up an interesting point.Yes, Master Ghavami had interviews with some famous newspapers in 1967 and 1968.  They asked him about Original Iranian music, melodies, notes, and the programs he was planning to perform.  As I remember, at the Art Festival in Shiraz in 1968, Mr. Hami from Keyhan Newspaper and Mr. Fereydoon Khadem, director of public relations at National Iranian Television had an extensive interview with him Mr. Massoud Faghieh from Etelaat Newspaper and Mr. Ali Mortazavi, director of Pen and Art Magazine in Shiraz had an interview with the Master.  

In 1967, when Master Ghavami was invited to France, reporters from the two newspapers  Lu Monde and Figaro on behalf of UNESCO and three German newspapers Bild Twi-Stung, Die Volte, and Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung, were present at the Hall in Paris and they all had an interview with Master Ghavami and Yehudi Menuhin.

In the two trips, he had to Afghanistan, these two newspapers had intensive interviews with the Master; Kabul Times in English and Anis newspaper that the founder and director of the national Anis newspaper was Mr. Gholam Ali Mohyeddin Anis; and the newspaper was in his own name.  The ministry of culture and arts of Afghanistan invited the Master for another visit. 

The Indian newspaper, India Dinic Delhi – Madha Pradesh and Mumbai had an intensive interview with the singer of original Iranian music. Mr. Mohammad Hossnein Heikal, the Egyptian historian and commentator from  Al Ahram newspaper; News Letter and Belfast newspaper from Ireland; Mr. Seyed Mir Mohammad Amir Alam Khan, from Tajikistan, historian and commentator of Bukhara Sharif newspaper; Mr. Alexander Lebdef, a reporter from Independent newspaper of England; Professor Bahram Bahari, professor of Persian language and literature at Sorbonne University, and French and Persian reporters all talked in French and Persian at the presence of Master Ghavami and great Menuhin.  They referred to the presence of characters like Master Ghavami, Menuhin, Banan, Saba, and Roohollah Khaleghi while presenting a program; and indicated that they are the assets of each country and national images of Iran; and we should pay high respect to these national assets. 

As my last question from you, you had referred to a number of notes that some of the artists had written when Master Ghavami passed away i.e., Master Amir Homayoon Khorram,  Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Parviz Yahaghi, and Dr. Maz Kushi Vansha, the Japanese violinist.  Do you remember or have these notes?

I think I have a note from the artists you named above. After a few seconds, Ms. Moshiri brought a paper that contained the followings and the first note was from Mr. Homayoon Khorram.

A note from Master Homayoon Khorram, mourning for the eternal memory of Master Hossein Ghavami 

Exactly a month ago, that means in February, I received the news that  singer was deceased ; and I was highly depressed that once more another art member passed away and moved to the other world.  But I was not yet relaxed from this tragedy that we heard another hearth-breaking news, that was difficult for me and my colleagues to believe.  Decease of a unique Master with a character that his behavior was admirable for everybody; and he was always remembered as a symbol of conduct and art.  A Master, whose loving songs has left many memories for all Iranians, a Master who was a loving father for the art of music in this land, he tried his best and taught whatever he was obliged to his students. “Where are you the Angle” is the masterwork of Master Hossein Ghavami.  I will never forget the voice of the Master at the ceremony that he was awarded the Doctorate in Music.  We performed some programs with Tehran music orchestra where he offered us his full support with his voice and presence.

About four months ago, my dear friend and artist, Master Ghavami was awarded the Saba art and voice title of Fakhteh; and we talked about this admirable artist and holding a special ceremony for him at our board meeting at Vahdat Hall.  Considering the constant behavior of the Master in respecting the youth and his approval that his works could be performed by young singers of our country;  we decided to arrange a concert in commemoration of Master Ghavami and me, with the presence of a number of young singers, and the honor they will enjoy by performing these works.  With this program in mind, we started planning this concert; but, it’s a pity that our country’s art society, once again, lost a valuable jewel, it’s a pity that his loving shadow is not there, it’s a pity that the candle of his life is blown out; but his eternal songs, will always save the name and memory of this Master; and up to the time the world is turning, the name of Master Ghavami will be kept in the memory and soul of all Iranians, all over the world.  God bless him.

I, Amir Homayoon Khorram, on behalf of the great Tehran Orchestra and the original music society, express our sympathy on the decease of this great singer of our country and a memory of the great generation of musicians to the music and art society of our country and all dear Iranians 09/03/1990."

The second note dated 10/03/1990 belonged to Mr. Mohammad Reza Shajarian

In this note he talked about the unique voice master, Master Ghavami, at Khaneghah Safi Ali Shah Mosque, he stated:

"Mr. Hossein Ghavami left us, and broke our heart.  His life pattern, is the thought of Molavi, Saadi, Hafez, and Khayyam.  He lived for years with this thought and finally got to his love.  He had a special characteristic in singing, viewing the Iranian music, songs, and pieces that could not be imitated.  Although, imitation of the Master is like practicing homework; certainly, other artists practice his works.  But his songs are not like anyone’s and his voice was different than others.  In fact, his viewpoint towards music shall be understood and the musicians, composers, and players should not try to imitate his voice style.; since their work will be quitted."

The third note belongs to the speech of Mr. Parviz Yahaghi at the memorial service held for Master Ghavami.

"Lots of words have been stated about the Master that are presented in the brochure; that in fact are a small piece in the sea. Master Ghavami, as a writer and scholar, is a different image , either in the domain of music or research in music history and methods for teaching music.  The songs he has sung, either in written music works or in verbal forms will be saved as eternal works.  I hope this great voice with songs of love will be saved and constantly kept in the memories of the youth and all Iranians and those who love our mother country, honor their land and cultural identity."

The fourth note belonged to Dr. Maz Kushi Vansha the Japanese violinist and music analyst.

"During this period, I wished I would have known him much earlier. The significant characteristic of Master Ghavami was the independence he had in his voice.  His music and voice did not resemble to anybody else.  It is interesting to know that within this year I have been listening to most of his works; and although I did not know Persian language, I enjoyed his songs.  When I look at his picture, he seems very gentle, it’s a pity that he is not with us, we have lost a great person, and an exceptional singer left us. "

At the end, I thanked Ms. Heshmat Al Molook Moshiri, the reverend wife of Great Master Ghavami for answering my phone call, although she was not feeling well.  She told me if you publish this interview, please send a copy for me too. I told her, certainly I would, and I will send you the magazine that has published the article.  I told her since you are not feeling well we will continue our interview some other time, when you will feel better and we said goodbye.

استاد قوامی 8

 Kamran Maleki

Unfortunately, this was our last farewell; since a few days later she felt much worse and was transferred to a hospital. Finally, after being under treatment for a couple of months,Ms. Heshmat Al Molook Moshiri passed away.This loss had a very bad effect on me and I was depressed for a long time. Her body was buried in Memorial Park West in USA alongside a number of artists.  

Brief biography of Master Hossein Ghavami

Master Hossein Ghavami (Fakhtei) was one of the first singers of the new cycle of traditional Iranian music and one of the major singers at Flowers Program. In total, he had worked for 29 years from 1946 to 1975 at the radio and was singing up to the time he was 80.  He passed away on Thursday 07/03/1990, at 8:30 pm, at Iran Mehr Hospital, and was buried on 08/03/1990 at Imamzadeh Taher Cemetery in Karaj next to Ghlolam Hossein Banan, Morteza Hannaneh and many other artists.