Mystic World Music

Shams

Sohrab Pournazeri, virtuoso of the tanbour and the kamancheh, is a phenomenon in modern Iranian music. He is a singer and instrumentalist whose music has transcended the borders of Iran, fusing with cultures and artists as far and wide as China and the United States. His talent and courage have been acknowledged as extraordinary by no less than Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the great master of Iranian music.

Sohrab was born in 1982 to the musical Pournazeri family. His father Kaykhosro Pournazeri is one of Iran’s most influential musicians and musicologists, and his brother Tahmoures has sparked a new movement in Iranian music through his performances and compositions.

Music was Sohrab’s mother tongue; he learned it as other children learn to speak. At age 2 he would play his father’s tanbour (whose body was larger than his) and sing the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. At age 13 he was introduced to the stage as part of the Shams Ensemble, and today he is one of the core members of the group. Also at age 13, Sohrab began studying kamancheh with Ardeshir Kamkar, and because of his musical talent was able to begin performing as a soloist with the Shams Ensemble after just two years of study.

While following in the footsteps of his musical family, Sohrab has developed distinct and idiosyncratic instrumental, vocal and compositional techniques that have enabled him to steer the distinct Pournazeri musical form–with its emphasis on passion, emotion and inventiveness–toward new horizons.

Sohrab is well versed in the regional music of his native Iran, as well as in Western classical music, and he holds a degree in music performance. As an instrumental soloist and vocalist, Sohrab has collaborated with artists and ensembles worldwide, including Ostad Shajarian, Shujaat Hussain Khan, the Beyond Borders Project and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.