|Biographical detail : ||The great diva of Persian traditional song
A household name in pre-revolutionary Iran, Marzieh was closely identified with her country’s music. Starting her career in the early 1940s, she remained for decades a ubiquitous presence on radio and in concert. She performed for many world leaders, over the years, at her peak of success.
The rich, throaty mezzo-soprano was famed for her vast repertory, said to span a thousand songs. Marzieh was known in particular for her expressive interpretations of songs of love — ill-fated love, unrequited love, everlasting love — many of which were settings of the work of the renowned Persian lyric poets of the Middle Ages and afterward.
Performed in public; with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London (1995); later she sang in Los Angeles and several European cities; Marzieh’s last major performance was in Paris in 2006.
Born Ashraf os-Sadat Mortezai in Tehran, she studied for years with some of the greatest masters of Persian song before beginning her career in 1942 under the stage name Marzieh, meaning laudable or agreeable. She died of cancer in Paris where she defected from Tehran in 1994.