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Keyavash Nourai

Persian Music


Keyavash Nourai has developed a unique sound by blending Western classical music, Eastern ethnic music. His diverse private and academic training has played a significant role in shaping his distinct musical and teaching style.

Nourai's journey began in Iran, where he had the opportunity to study with renowned Kamancheh player Ostad Kamran Daroughe. This exposure to Eastern ethnic music laid the foundation for his mastering of Persian instruments such as Kamancheh, Santur, Setar, and Tombak. Nourai immersed himself in the traditional Radif, studying and teaching it on various instruments, including the violin, Santur, and Setar. His dedication to mastering these instruments and adapting the Radif to them showcases his deep understanding and appreciation of Persian classical music.

Nourai's exposure to Western classical music came through his studies with Alexander Treger, the concertmaster of the LA Philharmonic. He honed his skills as a classical violinist and delved into the intricacies of the Paganini Caprices with Eugene Fodor. Such rigorous training not only sharpened his technical abilities but also broadened his musical horizons.

In addition to his Eastern and Western classical training, Nourai has ventured into Indian music, studying violin in the Indian style with L. Subramaniam and L. Shankar. This cross-cultural exploration has enriched his musical palette, enabling him to infuse Indian influences into his compositions and performances. The fusion of different musical traditions is further evident in his training in jazz harmony and piano with Dr. Artashes Kartalyan. This exposure to jazz has added a contemporary and improvisational element to Nourai's music.

Nourai's academic pursuits culminated in a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in World Music, Classical Violin, and Composition from Cal-Arts. His academic training has not only equipped him with the technical skills required for a successful career but has also deepened his understanding of music as a global language that transcends cultural boundaries.

He has also worked with notable Persian singers such as Haydeh, Ebi, Siamak Shajarian,Susan Dehim, Mohsen Namjoo, Aref, and Strunz and Farah. These collaborations have showcased his versatility as a musician and his ability to adapt his style to different genres and artists.

Nourai's accomplishments extend beyond the recording studio. He has performed in renowned halls around the world, including the Greek Theater, Microsoft Theater, Royce Hall, Wadsworth Theater, Japan America Theater, Ann Hamilton Tower, Agha Khan Museum, Volkswagen Arena, and Palace of Fine Arts to name a select few. His ability to captivate audiences with his eclectic sound is a testament to his exceptional musicality and stage presence.

Nourai's dedication to his craft is evident in his discography, which includes two CDs with Shahrokh Yadegari titled "Migration" and "Green Memories." He has also collaborated with Mohsen Namjoo on compositions and arrangements for a full orchestra which include a piece called "Daf". He has recorded Saba's "Radif" for violin in three volumes which will soon be released.

Keyavash Nourai has dedicated himself to teaching private lessons for over thirty years and he has been teaching at UC San Diego since 2019. His experience enables him to bridge the gap between Western and Eastern music, fostering cultural exchange and mutual respect among his students. By encouraging a multifaceted approach to music education, he empowers students to appreciate and respect different musical traditions, ultimately facilitating intercultural dialogue and understanding.