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A Major Gift in a Minor Key

Persian Music Ensemble students play the setar.
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will use the Farhang Foundation’s support to envision a minor in Iranian music.

A local and global leader, UCLA is home to people and programs that bring the world to Los Angeles, including the largest Iranian population outside of Iran and UCLA’s neighbor on the Westside. The university’s special relationship with that community just got more harmonious.

Expanding Study

The Farhang Foundation and UCLA have an existing partnership, including UCLA Film & Television Archive’s annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema. Now a new gift of $1 million from the foundation, a community-based leader in Iranian cultural initiatives, enables UCLA to envision a minor in Iranian music in The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, making it possible for students across campus to learn and appreciate traditional and contemporary music of the region.

The Farhang Foundation’s contribution will create a place for the study and performance of Iranian music at UCLA and on the Westside. Possible areas of study include Iranian music ensembles, courses on the music of Iran and neighboring regions, and interdisciplinary courses featuring the cultures of Iran.

Extending Success

Continuing recent momentum, the contribution stands to up the volume on the Iranian Music Program, which restarted in 2016 after more than 20 years. Revived by Amir Hosein Pourjavady, PhD ’00, the program quickly piqued student interest and built a sizable waitlist. Initially funded quarter by quarter with key gifts from individual donors, the program received a recent gift from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, helping more students participate and stabilizing course offerings for two years.

Through its well-known ethnomusicology department, UCLA has shared music from around the world for decades. The Farhang Foundation’s gift will amplify that ability while strengthening a community right around the corner.

Published June 2018

Two men play stringed Iranian instruments in a classroom.

Dr. Pourjavady instructs Persian Music Ensemble students playing the setar.

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