Ahmad Pejman




Ahmad Pejman (born July 9,1935) is an Iranian contemporary classical music composer. Born in the city of Lar, in the province of Fars, he was exposed to the rhythms and melodies of the south from early childhood. As a teenager in Tehran, he became interested in classical music and studied violin under Heshmat Sanjari and music theory with Hossein Nasehi. While completing his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Daneshsaraye-Ali (Teacher Training College), he played the violin in various orchestras, including Tehran Symphony Orchestra.  During that time, his early compositions were performed and broadcasted on national television.


In 1963, he was given a scholarship to study music composition at the Vienna Music Academy in Austria. He studied with Thomas Christian David, Alfred Uhl and Hanns Jelinik. As a student, his compositions were performed by the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and his symphonic work Rhapsody was performed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Before graduating from the Academy, Pejman was commissioned to write the first Persian Opera, The Rustic Festival, for the opening of the Rudaki Hall in Tehran in 1967.


Pejman returned to Iran in 1968 and soon became one of the most prolific classical music composers in the country, writing operas, The Hero of Sahand (1968), Samandar (1970), symphonic works, ballets and choir, including The illumination (1969), Ballet Impression (1973), Ayyaran (1974), Symphonic Sketches (1975), Hemmaseh (1976), children music, chamber music and he also started his long collaboration with filmmaker Bahman Farmanara, writing film music for Shazdeh Ehtejab (1974) and The Tall Shadows of the Wind (1979).  He also wrote the music for David Frost’s 5 part television series, Crossroads of Civilization for BBC television in 1979.  


While completing his doctorate studies at Columbia University in New York, the Iranian Revolution took place. He moved to Los Angeles in 1984 and continued with his work by arranging music for various artists.


In 1992 Pejman returned to Iran and started composing for the orchestra, choir and the symphony, Khorramshahr (1992), Mokhtar (1993) The Seven Hurdles of Rostam (1996), writing film music for various filmmakers including Mohsen Makhmalbaaf, Majid Majidi, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, and Bahman Farmanara. In 2007 Pejman wrote the Oratorio Resurrection  (on poems by Ferdowsi, Hefiz, Mowlana, Khajeh Abdollah Ansari) with Mosfilm Orchestra and Moscow Academy choir. His other notable works include Hameh Shahr Iran (folkloric Iranian songs for children 1995)  Shadows of the Sun (2010), Norooz Symphony (2011) Divertimento (4 movements for String Orchestra 2016) Parsava (5 movements for solo piano 2016). The Land of the Brave (for choir and orchestra 2017) Pejman is currently completing an album on the poems of Sohrab Sepehri.


Pejman’s compositions have been performed internationally in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France and the United Kingdom.

Pejman has received numerous national and international awards including two Crystal Simorgh Awards for the music to Majid Majidi’s Baran and Bahman Farmanara’s The Scent of Camphor, the Fragrance of Jasmin. He was named the most important composer of the 20th Century by the House of Cinema. A commemorative stamp was issued in Pejman’s honor in 2017.



  • Birthday: 09.07.1935
  • Birthplace: Larestan, Fars, Iran
  • Interview date: 16.11.2016 – 27.11.2016

Musician and Composer

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