Nazeri, Shahram (1950–)

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Nazeri, Shahram

A Kurdish Iranian musician, Shahram Nazeri is one of Iran's most acclaimed vocalists.


Nazeri was born to a Kurdish family in Kermanshah, Iran, in 1950. He received traditional music instruction from his father and his uncles. He performed at Sufi (Islamic mystic) ceremonies, began singing at a very early age, and even sang on Iranian national television by age eleven. Nazeri began studying radif, the classical Persian repertoire, and worked with some of the masters of modern Persian music, including Abdollah Davami, Nourali Borouman, and Mahmoud Karimi. He also studied to play the tar (a stringed instrument) with Habibollah Salehi. In 1969 he issued his first recording.

In the early twenty-first century he specializes in singing the words of such Sufi writers as Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, Shaykh Attar, and Hafiz of Shiraz. Called the Persian Nightingale and the Pavarotti of Iran, Nazeri sings in both Persian and Kurdish, and has worked with Aref and Sheyda, the leading ensembles in Iran. He currently is working on symphonies featuring the writings of classical Persian writer Hakim Abo'l-Qasim Firdawsi.


Nazeri grew up listening to Sufi religious music and hearing the performances from the classical Iranian tradition. He went on to become a legend in Iran and has recorded over forty albums, including Gol-e Sad Barg (The one hundred leaf flower), Yadegar e Doust (The friend's memoir), Sedaye Sokhan e Eshgh (The sound of love's word), and Shour Angiz (Joygiver). He is credited for stimulating an interest in classical Iranian music among the country's younger generations. In 2000, Nazeri went on tour in Iran with a group called the Rumi Ensemble. They held a series of landmark concerts in twenty cities in the country, and introduced Iranian youth to the classical musical genre. In recent years he has performed with his son, Hafez Nazeri, an acclaimed musician in his own right, and has delighted sold-out audiences around the world, including "The Path of Rumi" tour in North America in 2005–2006.


Nazeri is known and acclaimed both at home and abroad, and is one of Iran's best-known musicians outside the country, partially as a result of years of touring around the world. In 1975 he won first place at the Concours de Musique Traditionnelle. In 2007 France awarded him the prestigious Légion d'honneur medal, and Iran has awarded him its House of Music award.


Nazeri's career is not yet over, but he will surely be remembered for the important role he played in keeping Sufi musical traditions alive in Iran and for promoting Iranian cultural awareness outside Iran at a time when the country's image in the West often was dominated by negative images.


Curiel, Jonathan. "Iran's Pavarotti: Sharam Nazeri." Christian Science Monitor. 11 June 1997.

"Shahram Nazeri." MySpace Music. Available from

"Shahram Nazeri Discography." Shahram Nazeri. Available from

"Shahram Nazeri Latest News." Shahram Nazeri. Available from

                                    Michael R. Fischbach


Name: Shahram Nazeri

Birth: 1950, Kermanshah, Iran

Family: Wife; son, Hafez

Nationality: Iranian Kurd

Education: Independently educated in traditional Iranian music


  • 1969: Issues first album
  • 1975: Takes first place at Concours de Musique Traditionnelle
  • 2000: "The Rumi Ensemble" tour in Iran
  • 2005: "The Path of Rumi" tour in North America
  • 2007: Awarded Légion d'honneur by France