Parissa performing on stage with accompanying musicians

Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts

The mission of the Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts is to bring to Stanford the best of Iranian art and letters, and ensure that prejudice based on politics, gender, ethnicity, and religious rancor can play no role in silencing these cultural gems. The Festival sponsors lectures, conferences, and performances on Iranian art, poetry, theater, fiction, cinema, and music. Themes include Iranian mythology, cinema, literature, theater, and music. The Festival has helped stage some of Iran’s masterpieces of theater and music—conducted by masters of their domain such as playwright Bahram Beyzaie and musician Mohammad Reza Shajarian.

Established in 2014, this initiative is made possible with the generous support of Bita Daryabari, Shidan and Mehran Taslimi, and Hamid and Christina Moghadam, among others. 

Explore some of the many events sponsored by the Festival since its founding and join our email list to learn about upcoming events.

Concerts

Tribute to Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Tribute to Mohammad Reza Shajarian

A celebration in memory of Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian (1940-2020) including some of the foremost masters of classical Iranian music who collaborated with him or were his student. Maestros Rambod Sodeif, Shahram Nazeri, Hossein Alizadeh, Dariush Talai, Mohammadreza Darvishi, Ali Akbar Moradi, and Ms. Fariba Davoodi each discuss his legacy and perform a piece in his memory. 

Plays & Performances

Bahram Beyzaie and cast of Tarabnameh take a bow

Bahram Beyzaie's Plays at Stanford

Bahram Beyzaie is one of Iran's most acclaimed filmmakers, playwrights, and scholars of the history of Iranian theater, both secular and religious. As the Darybari Visiting Professor at Stanford University since 2010, he has been able to write and stage several of his new or never-before-seen plays. 

Lectures

"The Golden Age of Animation in Iran"

By Nouredin Zarrinkelk

"Forugh Farrokhzad: A Literary Biography"

By Farzaneh Milani

"Odyssey of an Artist"

By Afshin Naghouni

Conferences & Panels

Conference: A Celebration of Bahram Beyzaie at Stanford

A conference in celebration of Bahram Beyzaie’s 10-year anniversary at Stanford, brought scholars together (virtually) from around the world—including from inside Iran—to discuss and reflect on Professor Beyzaie’s remarkable work and profound impact on the world of cinema and theater. Professor Beyzaie is one of Iran's most acclaimed filmmakers, playwrights, and scholars of the history of Iranian theater. 

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Conference: A Portrait of Houshang Golshiri

The Iranian Studies Program and Stanford University's Green Library celebrated the arrival of the Houshang Golshiri papers at Stanford with a conference dedicated to the unique collection and literary legacy of Golshiri, arguably the most important Iranian modernist writer of his generation. The conference participants included: Bahram Beyzaie, Reza Farokhfal, Barbad Golshiri, Ghazal Golshiri, Shahriar Mandanipour, Abbas Milani, and Farzaneh Taheri.

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Film Screenings

Marjane Satrapi: Chicken with Plums

Mohammad Rasoulof: Lerd

Farzaneh Omidvarnia: Song Sparrow

Workshops

Arash: A Play Reading

Acting

Acting workshops have been led by Professor Bahram Beyzaie and actress Mojdeh Shamsaie.

A Conversation with Mohammad-Reza Shajarian

Music

Music workshops have been led by Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, Mohsen Namjoo, Ali Akbar Moradi, Parissa and others.