Evlin Bahceban was born in 1928 to an Assyrian-French family in Turkey. When she entered the Ankara Conservatory of music at the age of 14, she could never have imagined that one day she would play a significant part in the music scene of Iran. What brought her to Iran was meeting her future husband, Samin Bahceban, who was studying at the same conservatory and later became a renowned composer. Evlin joined him a year after he returned to Iran, where she devoted the next 33 years of her life to musical activities in her adopted country.
The list of her valuable and original contributions is striking. She established the very first singing classes in the Tehran Conservatory, where she trained opera singers, several of whom became famous names in opera at Tehran and even abroad. Evlin founded the Tehran Opera Ensemble, the Choir Group at the Tehran Conservatory, as well as the National Choir. She was also a co-founder of the Tehran opera and the Roudaki Hall.
One of Evlin’s successful projects, which was particularly close to her heart, was the formation of a choir group of 200 children selected from amongst orphans throughout the country. She was deeply touched by the joy and enthusiasm of these children who had never even seen a piano in their lives. The group made such progress that within a few years it performed ten of Samin Bahceban’s compositions accompanied by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Evlin has translated ten books from French into Turkish on various aspects and methods of playing the piano and singing, as well as writing and illustrating three books for children. Also, in a book written in French, she describes with great love and affection her observations about all artistic activities taking place in Iran before the Revolution.
In this multimedia report, Evlin Bahceban looks back at her artistic life and times in Iran.