Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA), a news agency, filed a brief report on December 1 on the comments of Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, an internationally-acclaimed vocalist known as Iran’s greatest living master of traditional Persian music, about Hossein Alizadeh’s refusal to receive France’s Chevalier of Legion of Honor. What appears below is the translation of Shajarian’s view posted on his page about the story:
“The refusal by Hossein Alizadeh [a leading classical composer] to get the award was done in protest at those sycophants who use such titles for their favorite artist.
“With pleasure, I congratulate Hossein Alizadeh, who turned down Chevalier of Legion of Honor after expressing his gratitude to the French government and officially offering apologies for turning down the award.
“His apology was not in protest at the French government; rather it was an objection to those among us who have taken and still take advantage of such awards. By ‘those’ I do not mean figures who hold such titles; rather I mean sycophants who put such titles before the names of their favorite artists. Some advertising and marketing companies, too, add titles to the names of artists or bands. Such titles are irrelevant to the type of art those artists preform and at time even sound funny. These measures are designed to make more profits for a special record label or get their concert halls packed. This misuse of titles will take a toll on the cachet of such awards.
“Hossein Alizadeh wanted to stop them from taking advantage of this and did not allow them to add irrelevant titles to his art and name.
“Extending my gratitude to French politicians who pay special attention to Iranian authors, scientists, artists and cultural and literary figures, [I must say] Hossein Alizadeh does not need any title before or after his name.”