Muscat: Launched in collaboration with the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Bait Al Zubair’s first Sufi Music Festival opened to a stunning performance by Iran’s Salar Aghili Band.
The event was hosted by Mohammad Al Zubair, founder of the Zubair Corporation, with Mohamed Reza Nuri, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Reciting verses from the poetry of legends such as Haafez, Rumi and Sa’adi Shirazi, the band treated its audience in Muscat to a feast of traditional and classical Farsi music that captured the elegance and grace of Iran’s cultural heritage.
A large contingent of Iranian expats and Omanis turned out for the event, with good reason. The ensemble group was led by Salar Aghili, singer of Iran’s National Orchestra, who was joined on-stage by the young Mirmahur Aghili, Mohammedreza Eskandari, Sahab Torbati, Harir Shariatzadeh, Alireza Daryae, Hossein Mahmoudimajd and Ali Kheshtinejad.
Using classical instruments such as the daf, tar, violin, tompak and santoor, the band gave the audience two hours of mystical and soulful renditions of Persia’s most powerful Sufi poems.
Omani resident Daud was quick to praise the event, telling Times of Oman, “The event is incredible because it has brought this great music here for the first time. The performance was amazing. It’s the first time I’ve heard anything like it.”
Iranian expat Shukri Baloch loved the event. “This (music) is a big deal for people in Iran. We love classical, traditional music, and this is a great way to bring people in Arabia and the people of Iran together,” he stressed.
Fatma, also from Iran, was enamoured by the lyrics sung throughout the performance. “I really like their music because the lyrics are by mystical poets like Rumi, Hafez, and Sa’adi.”
Mohammed, 13, had a different but equally appreciative take: “For us, in Iran, Salar Aghili is one of the best singers. We have many really good ones, but he is one of the best.”
So he proved to be. Throughout the performance, the audience applauded the deep and powerful vocals of Salar and the masterful solos of his band mates. It was no surprise, then, that after their last song, the audience asked for an encore, which they happily obliged, bringing the audience to their feet one last time.
With such a passionate and powerful performance opening the event, Bait Al Zubair’s Sufi Music Festival has set the bar very high for whoever follows the exquisite opening act. Free and open to the general public, music lovers can enjoy a night of masterful Sufi music by visiting the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s Amphitheatre. The show begins at 7:15 PM every evening and will be held until February 1.