The Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay in a message said that Mohammad Reza Shajarian used his artistic virtuosity to show the beauty of Persian classical poetry and his legacy will long live on in our hearts and minds.

Iran PressIran News: In a message to Iran's Ambassador to UNESCO Ahmad Jalali, Audrey Azoulay Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization wrote, "Mohammad Reza Shajarian's is a man who touched the hearts of so many people - in Iran, among Persian speakers in the region, and around the world."

Mr. Shajarian a talented vocalist, with absolute mastery of classical Persian musical styles, broke down barriers between individuals, countries, and cultures. For this reason, he received UNESCO's Picasso Award in 1999, after his performance of Omar Khayyam's poetry at the Organization. He was also awarded UNESCO's Mozart Medal in 2007.

Over more than six decades, Mr. Shajarian used his artistic virtuosity to show the beauty of Persian classical poetry in a new light, including that of Saadi, Hafez, Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, Attar, and Omar Khayyam. He allowed new generations of Persian speakers in different countries to rediscover their cultural identity and shared heritage and, in doing so, strengthened the cultural bonds of the people of the region.

In recent years, Mr. Shajarian courageously fought illness, while remaining deeply connected with the Iranian people, the people from whom he gained his inspiration and the people for whom he sang. In doing so, he showed the many ways in which culture can bring us closer together, by revealing our common humanity. In his view, humanity was the aim of ail arts, and humanity should rule the world. This fully ties in with UNESCO's mission: to build the defenses of peace in the minds of women and men.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian (born September 23, 1940, in Mashhad) was a musician, composer, singer, and calligrapher, an artist who managed to leave lasting works for Iranian music during his 5 decades of artistic activity. 

Shajarian has also been active in reciting the Qur'an and Rabbana's prayer (Our Lord) was his most famous Qur'anic recitation. This work has been registered as a national work by the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian during a lifetime of his career released more than 60 albums.

Mohammad-Reza Shajarian Iran's greatest maestro of Persian traditional music died at 80 in a hospital in Tehran.

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