Opening Event

The Sacred Lute: The Art of Ostad Elahi September 6, 2014

In celebration of the eponymous exhibition at the Met, the opening event will feature a series of stirring musical performances, including a rare appearance by tanbur grandmaster Chahrokh Elahi, as well as solo and duet pieces by renowned double bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons and master lutenist Claire Antonini, who will present a unique fusion of eastern and western melodies inspired by Ostad Elahi’s music.

Moderated by WNYC’s John Schaefer, a panel discussion examining the transformative music of Ostad Elahi will bring together Clive Bell, musician, composer, and writer for the music monthly The Wire; Jean During, an ethnomusicologist specializing in Central Asia and a leading authority on the tanbur; and Robert Simms, an ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist specializing in Middle Eastern and West African traditions.

The evening will conclude with a special Rumi poetry recital by Leili Anvar, Prof. of Persian language and literature, highlighting the enduring and intimate relationship between music and mysticism. The recital will be accompanied by a blend of sacred and contemporary music.

The Nour Foundation and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are grateful to UNESCO for its patronage of this exhibition. The Foundation would also like to thank the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and The Musical Olympus Foundation for their support.


  • Saturday, September 6, 2014
  • 6:00 pm
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium