Bijan Mortazavi’s Biography
Bijan Mortazavi started playing the violin at the tender age of three. In Tehran, he was trained by five of the most respected and well–known violinists; learning specific techniques, such as improvisation, orchestration, arrangement, and quartertone scale. At the young age of seven, this talented child, continued his training with the piano, guitar, percussion, and folklore string instruments, such as the oud, tar, and santur. At age 11, Bijan won the first prize among students of all ages in a national contest. He was fourteen when he assembled a 32 man orchestra, performing his own compositions and arrangements at the famous Ramsar Summer Camp in Iran. After having graduated from high school, Bijan moved to the United Kingdom.
There, he pursued his academic interest in the field of Civil Engineering while continuing with his performances and his violin training. In 1979, Bijan moved to the United States, continued his music education at Texas State University, and finally settled in California in 1985. He released his first album, which was a best seller in 1990. What sets Bijan apart from other performers, is his ability to personally play all the instruments used in his arrangements. The national and international tour beginning in 1990 brought Bijan to sold-out audiences throughout the world. On July 3, 1994 after 34 years of playing the violin, Mr. Mortazavi became the first Iranian performer to display his indisputable talent at the Greek Theatre. One of the pieces played during this concert entitled “Epic” had been written by him when he was eleven years old. On stage, Bijan shared with his audience his boyhood dream of one day performing this particular piece on a grand scale. Thus presenting his national music to people from all around the world….his dream had come true.
What is unique about Mortazavi’s accomplishments is his immense success outside of Iran, where he is much admired among international music circles. Indeed, Mortazavi defines much of his work in the genre of light classical, and a bridge between the Eastern and Western musical traditions. Many of his songs have been performed in different languages in several countries. The quality and variety of sound he produces from the instrument is remarkable. Today, after nearly a quarter century Mr. Mortazavi remains as energetic and vibrant as ever and is universally recognized as one of Iran’s finest composers and violinists.
Mr. Mortazavi has 12 international best selling records, his latest being “Music and I” which was released on November 16, 2010. His Greek Theater performance, which includes a 53- piece orchestra in front of a sold out crowd of 6,400 is available on DVD and is a true testament to Bijan’s gift and love of music.
Mr. Mortazavi has also performed at charity events, including most recently for the Child Foundation in 2011. On November 25 of 2009, Bijan received his Fellowship (Phd) from the Southampton Solent University in Great Britain. His task is the development of contemporary Middle Eastern music in an academic form in the United Kingdom and other western countries.