Ostad Hengameh Akhavan

Master Vocalist Ostad Hengameh Akhavan


Famous Iranian Female Vocalist, Hengameh Akhavan was born in Fuman, Gilan province, Iran in 1955. She is the youngest child of her family. All members of her family are blessed with a very good singing voice but she is the only one who has become a professional singer. She started singing at the age of ten. Her father taught her "Avaz-e Dashti" (One of the modes in Iranian modal system of music). She and her brother were part of their school singing group. Her father used to tell her about Ghamar and Ruhangiz (the very famous Iranian female singers) and encourage her to sing. He used to admire the character of Ghamar not only as a singer but as a kind and benevolent person as well. 

She went to Tehran after finishing the elementary school to visit her sister and her sister's family. During her stay she was encouraged by her sister and her brother-in-law to stay in Tehran to continue her musical training and studies. Therefore she decided to stay in Tehran. She went for an audition to Iranian national radio for becoming a singer. In a cassette, she recorded her voice by singing one of the compositions of Ostad (master) Tajvidi and the melodies that her father had taught. The selection panel had five members all very famous musicians: Ali Tajvidi, Morteza Hannaneh, Habibollah Badiee, Javad Maroufi and Fallah. Three of them accepted her but two of them wanted her to have another audition. She went back for a second audition. They didn't accept her because she didn't know the radif (Iranian modal system of music) completely. She enrolled in the classes of the Iranian national radio in order to learn the whole radif.

Actually, thanks to the kind encouragement of Ostad Ali Tajvidi, she went to the class of Ostad Adib-Khansari, the great master of Persian vocal music (the Esfahan school) and she started to learn the radif and the techniques of Persian vocal music. Ostad Ebrahim Sarkhosh (a very famous tar player) was also attending the class in order to help and accompanying the students' vocals. She was the student of Ostad Adib-Khansari for about ten years (1972-1982). Initially the classes were in the Iranian national radio offices and later on at his home. 

While learning the radif, finally she had another audition and this time she was accepted. She started singing for Radio in 1975 collaborating with the Shayda, Aref and Samai Ensembles, recreating the works of Ghamar. In 1984, she was invited to collaborate with the Archive of Iranian national Radio and TV. 

She has performed many concerts in Iran and Europe. Now she teaches vocal music and is active in Iran House of Music. Nasrollah Nasehpour has declared: "Hengameh Akhavan is one of the best female singers of Iran. She is the Second Ghamar."