Iran: Concert cancelled for having female musicians

30 November 2015


A concert by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled at the last minute on 29 November 2015 because some of the musicians were female, reported The National. 

The orchestra was due to play in Tehran before the World Wrestling Clubs Cup competition and was stopped from performing as it was readying itself to play the national anthem of Iran.

The orchestra’s conductor Ali Rahbari said organisers told him that “it’s absolutely impossible for women to play musical instruments on stage.”

“I was offended and said it was impossible for me to accept such an insult. We either play all together or we leave,” Rahbari said.

While current president Hassan Rouhani has said that no one should stop artists and musicians from performing if they have a permit from the ministry of culture, the reality on the ground is much different.

Female musicians have claimed that they have been stopped from performing in venues, especially outside of the capital. Female musicians have been banned from performing solo since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Additionally, earlier in November 2015, at least 26 musicians were banned from performing in Iran for a variety of infractions, including “inappropriate behaviour.”

The photo above is from Tehran Symphony Orchestra’s home page,


» The National – 29 November 2015:
Iranian concert cancelled over female musicians

» BBC – 29 November 2015:
Concert cancelled in Iran for the existence of female musicians in the orchestra


Related information

» – 4 November 2015:
Iran: 26 popular singers banned from performing

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