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Omid Zoufonoun (Alameda) collaborating with Pacific Mozart Ensemble (Alameda)

Award: $40,000 Traditional Arts Grant awarded in 2011

Premiered: March 30-31, 2012

Composer Omid Zoufonoun and Pacific Mozart Ensemble (now named Pacific Edge Voices) created a traditional Persian composition of approximately 30 minutes in length, titled Shoor e-Mastaan (Passion of the Intoxicated), which explored a dialogue with a contemporary Western chorus. The finished piece was performed by the Ensemble and the Persian Shams Ensemble in spring 2012.

The work used Persian music’s unique and intricate melodic and rhythmic idioms expressed monophonically through the kamanche (spike fiddle); santur (hammer dulcimer); and tonbak/daf (goblet and frame drums). It drew lyrics from poetry by the 12th century mystic Rumi, sung in the original Farsi.

One of four sons trained under their father and renowned master Persian musician Ostad Mahmoud Zoufonoun, lead artist Omid Zoufonoun has been immersed in traditional Persian music since birth. From 2003-09 he was cellist and musical arranger for the Zoufonoun Ensemble; he also has notated and edited the complete violin and vocal works of Ostad Zoufonoun for publication.

Founded in 1980 by Richard Grant, Pacific Edge Voices delivers passionate, expert and engaging choral performances of music of all genres: It is particularly well-known for its collaborations with contemporary composers and artists. Current music director, Dr. Lynne Morrow, has continued to build its reputation for versatility and open-mindedness in presenting distinctive and often-demanding vocal repertoire.