Kamran Hooshmand, oud, santur
d. August 4, 2016
Kamran Hooshmand was born in Tehran, Iran, and resided and performed in the US since 1978. He held an MA in Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin and was pursuing a Ph.D. in Media Studies. He studied and/or performed with masters of Persian classical music Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi and Dr. Mojtaba Khoshzamir, and guest-lectured on Middle Eastern music in schools and colleges in the US and Europe.
He founded the 1001 Nights Orchestra in the early 1990s to expose Texans to the beautiful music and cultures of the Middle East. Along with his orchestra, Mr. Hooshmand contributed music to numerous film and theatre productions including the IMAX documentary “Ride Around the World” and an award-winning score and live accompaniment to the 1924 silent, “Thief of Bagdad,” which was featured at Austin’s Paramount Theater. Among the numerous instruments that Mr. Hooshmand played are the oud (Persian barbat), an 11-stringed ancestor of the European lute, and the Persian santur, a 72-stringed hammered dulcimer. His research focused on how certain musical modes (maqam, dastgah, etc.) as well as musical styles (rumba flamenco, bolero, muwashahat, etc.) have travelled from his native Middle East to Europe and the Americas and vice versa.
His Persian-Spanish multilingual project Ojalá returned to the stage with sold-out performances. He was a regular invitee to international festivals including SXSW and the International Accordion Festival among others. He frequently presented in academic conferences on topics ranging from the role of digital media in social upheavals to metaphor and the digital transformation of religious chants to tools of protest. His recordings have been on the top-10 charts of the Austin Chronicle and are available online and at area record stores. He had been a member of the Texas Early Music Project’s concerts of medieval, Sephardic, and Arabo-Andaluz music since 1999.