“The women are not used to playing in hijab. I am very glad that the women tried it and it was fine. What is most important is the music.” Is it really?
“German orchestra in Iran on landmark visit,” from AFP (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
A German orchestra arrived in Tehran on Monday, defying increasing political tensions to give the first performances in Iran by a full Western classical ensemble since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
The Osnabrueck Symphony Orchestra from northwestern Germany will play works by Beethoven, Brahms and Elgar in Tehran this week following a successful visit by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra to their town last year.
The German orchestra, whose female players will have to wear Islamic headscarves to obey Iran’s dress code, will be boosted by six Iranian musicians for the concerts.
The orchestra’s directors were at pains to emphasise their visit would not stray into politics and was purely aimed at increasing cultural understanding between Iran and the West.
“My wish is to show the peoples of both our countries that there is no need to fear one another and it is a great pleasure to get to know one another,” said the director of Osnabrueck’s summer festival, Michael Dreyer.
“I hope that it will be increasingly normal to have cultural exchanges between Iran and Germany and the Western world,” he told reporters after arriving in Tehran.
Dreyer said he had rejected a request by three German MPs to join the tour in order to keep the trip focused on music and not politics. The trip has been fully coordinated with Iran’s ministry of culture and Islamic guidance….
The German orchestra brushed off the constraint of giving the concerts with their female players wearing Islamic headscarves, saying they had worn the garments during rehearsals in Germany in preparation.
“The women are not used to playing in hijab. I am very glad that the women tried it and it was fine. What is most important is the music,” said conductor Hermann Baeumer.