Mahour Mellat Parast was born in Iran. He grew up in a music loving family, where his father was a musician, composer and a player of tar, setar, piano and Turkish tar. His grandfather was a player of Turkish tar as well.
He started playing the tar at the age of 14, under the supervision of his father, Abdollah Mellat Parast. In 1989, he was awarded the first rank Tar player in the Province of Gilan, Iran. He also joined the Oshagh musical group at the age of 16, as their youngest player and took part in many concerts with that group throughout Iran.
After his admission to Sharif University, he moved to Tehran. At that time, along with his academic studies in Industrial Engineering, he practiced the themes of Persian music (RADIF) under the supervision of Houshang Zarif, a renowned Tar player and instructor, from 1993-1997. He also became familiar with the style of many Tar players, including Jalil Shahnaz and Farhang Sharif.
He practiced some of the works of Hossein Alizadeh with Iraj Dashti Zadeh. During this period, he had ample opportunity to work with many professional groups and enrich his own expertise further. However, his commitment to music had to be balanced with the parallel pursuit of his career in Industrial Engineering. While in Iran, his public performances as a soloist or in ensemble, numbered more than 20.
In 2001 he was admitted to University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to obtain a Ph.D. in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, with a 3 -year Fellowship award. Since his arrival in the USA he has performed more than 50 concerts in Nebraska, California, Iowa, Kansas, Alaska, South Dakota, and Indiana. Several other universities, including Northwestern University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Oklahoma have also expressed interest in his work. Plans are now under way for him to present Persian music in universities, music festivals and cultural institutions in the near future.
Mahour has been working with an American pianist, Dr. Ken Hoppmann, a music professor at Union College since 2002. They have developed pieces for the tar and the piano which is novel and innovative. They have received a grant from the Nebraska Arts Council and through a series of performances in Lincoln Public Schools, they have documented how the perception of students changes towards the Middle East after listening to the music. They are planning to extend their work to the other states in near future...
Currently, Mahour is an Assistant Professor of Technology Management an NC A&T State University.
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