Iranian maestro Ali (Alexander) Rahbari, the composer of the symphonic poem, conducted the orchestra during the concert, which was organized to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between Iran and Croatia, the Embassy of Iran in Zagreb announced on Saturday.
During the entirely Persian concert, Iranian vocalist Reza Fekri sang a tenor solo accompanied by the Ivan Filipovic Chamber Choir.
Cultural advisors to Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s special representative, the Croatian ambassador to Tehran, the Iranian ambassador to Zagreb, and many economic and cultural figures attended the concert.
The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra also performed “Zarathustra Spitama” on October 23, 2020 to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
In a statement for the concert, Rahbari referred to “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical 1883–1885 novel, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, and said, “Regarding the two greats, Nietzsche and Strauss, I did not dare to compose music inspired by the words of Zarathustra until in 2018.
“Mr. Barbad Bayat encouraged me to deal with the words of the great Zarathustra, which ultimately spawned this symphony inspired by Persian music, and after much effort and thorough research, I finally composed an exceptional and extremely melodious symphonic poem about Zarathustra for tenor, choir and symphony orchestra.
“Spitama is actually the surname of a Zoroastrian family. After finishing the song, I decided to present it to the Croatian people who boast of their Persian origins. My wife, with whom I have four children, is also a Croat and they were all delighted with my decision.
“I would also like to express my satisfaction that this is happening during the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Zagreb Philharmonic, which I conducted for many years, and for two years I was its chief conductor, and the members of the orchestra were extremely close to my heart.”