The first classical music orchestra from the West to visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution received an enthusiastic welcome during its first of two guest performances in the capital Tehran on Wednesday night. To loud applause, Germany’s Osnabrueck Symphony Orchestra played pieces by Beethoven, Brahms and Elgar to a sold-out Vahdat Hall in the Iranian capital, with a second performance to be held on Thursday night.
“I’m very proud that we were allowed to come and that our orchestra is the first (to visit Iran) for the last 30 years,” one of the 60-odd musicians told Reuters Television.
“It is a big honor for us,” he said.
Martin Ebbing, who helped organize the event, said the wisdom of visiting Iran had been debated both inside and outside the orchestra in Germany but that it was important to open a dialogue with the people of Iran.
“It was a very warm welcoming reception,” he said about Wednesday’s performance in the 850-capacity hall. “It was completely sold out.”