Iran did not allow foreign participants and guests to attend an electronic music festival, according to the official in charge of organizing the event in late July.
Speaking to the state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA), Mehdi Jalali said, "For the first time, our prominent foreign guests, including Joachim Heintz (German composer), Dimitri Papageorgiou (Greek composer), Ulrike Brand (German cellist), and Eva Zollner (German accordionist) were denied entry visas."
Organized under the auspices of the University of Tehran Music Department and Yarava music group, the first competition was held in early March 2016 at Charsou Cineplex in downtown Tehran.
The event named Tehran Contemporary Music Festival is also partnered with Iran's state broadcaster IRIB and the embassies of Poland, Sweden and Belgium.
Yarava group is an experimental, contemporary orchestra active since 2004. Its founders are tar and setar player Ebrahim Allahyari, pianist, tar, setar, daf, tonbak and tanbur player, and conductor Mehdi Jalali, and setar player Hamed Zand-Karimkhani.
Fifty electronic composers from Iran, Germany, Italy, Uruguay, Japan, Estonia, Russia, and the Philippines performed over 50 compositions at the festival last year.
"Everything, including buying tickets for the guests, was scheduled a year ahead of the festival, but we have received no explanation for the reason(s) of denying our guests' entry visas," Jalali told ILNA, adding, "The authorities have even ignored official protests by the University of Tehran."
The Korourian competition seeks to identify, appreciate, and introduce new and significant pieces of electro-acoustic music. It is an annual event held in memory of Iranian composer, flutist, guitarist, pianist, and music theoretician Reza Korourian (1971-2015), who made prized contributions to electronic music.
Electronic concerts, seminars and lectures, video arts, composition workshops, and performing arts are among the programs of the Tehran International Electronic Music Festival, Financial Tribune reports.
The family of Korourian pays the expenses of the festival.
Prominent Iranian electronic musician Reza Korourian died in 2015 at age 43.