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Tracing Beethoven in Tehran

The general public in Tehran was not yet very familiar with western classical music when the Chamanara brothers opened their first music store in the early 1950s. More than a decade later, the opening of the Roudaki Hall filled a major gap in Tehran's cultural life by providing a modern opera and concert hall. It played a big part in bringing classical music to the attention of a wider audience. This has been frequently acknowledged, but the complementary role of the Beethoven store, through making high quality music available to all music lovers, including many who were not able to attend concerts, has never been fully appreciated. The Chamanara brothers even welcomed students and young people who could not afford to buy records. They were allowed to listen to their favourite music as often as they wished on the upper floor of the store.
 
The Beethoven continued to flourish during the 60s, selling the highest quality productions in classical and contemporary music, film scores and jazz, from around the world. By the end of that decade, with the addition of a new company and retail outlet specializing in traditional, classical, and pop Persian music, the shop had expanded into a large complex and moved to new premises. A few years later, record production facilities were added to the complex, making stereo records for the very first time in Iran.

The Beethoven was more than just a record shop in those years. The wide range and superior quality of its selection of records had turned it into an institution and a haunt for music enthusiasts. It had opened up a new horizon whereby the public acquired a deeper knowledge of classical music and a more sophisticated taste. All this came to an abrupt halt at the end of the 70s. Music, as with so many other areas of cultural life, suffered greatly as a result of the Revolution, war, chaos and stringent restrictions. The store, however, has managed to keep its doors open despite many setbacks, particularly in respect of international music which had been its main strength and its original raison d’être.

In this multimedia report, the nephew of the store’s founder and its present manager, Babak Chamanara, takes us through the history of this establishment and its pioneering role in the cultural enrichment of the nation’s life.  
 



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- Anonymous، 2010/09/20
I love this article even in english version
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