Hazzan Dardashti will share his incredible journey from East to West and learn how a Persian teen TV idol became an Ashkenazi Hazzan in the United States.
RSVP to Mari Lynn Rusak: [email protected] or 416.789.3291 x 224
Hazzan Farid Dardashti, a highly skilled tenor, has devoted his career to being a “congregational hazzan” and has dedicated his life to his family, to Judaism, and to his music. He has focused on the perpetuation of Jewish musical traditions – touching the hearts of the audiences for which he performs, the lives of the students he teaches and all those who share with him in the spirituality of the synagogue service.
Dardashti, who holds the distinction of being the first Iranian born international concert artist and hazzan in the western world, comes from a long line of classical Iranian vocal artists and “hazzanim”. His father, a traditional Jew, known as the “Nightingale of Iran”, appeared before aristocracy at the Shah’s palace and his recordings won international notoriety.
Throughout his childhood in Iran, Farid Dardashti attended the Kouresh Jewish Day School, and as a teenager, he was the featured performer in a weekly TV show in his native Tehran. A desire to study architecture brought him to the U.S. in his teens, but his inherent love for singing drew him towards an education in music. While studying classical vocal repertoire at the Mannes College of Music in New York, Dardashti decided to combine his passions for Judaism and music and pursue a career as “Hazzan”. He studied at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received his cantorial degree and where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree in 2009.
As a concert artist, Farid Dardashti bridges the East and West – singing in 12 languages and in diverse styles. He has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico – as a solo artist and with his wife and three daughters as the “Dardashti Family.” On the opera stage, he has won critical acclaim for his performances of leading tenor roles in La Traviata, Cavalleria Rusticana, Cosi Fan Tutte, Faust, and La Boheme. In June 1998, honoring the 50th anniversary of the state of Israel and the Cantors Assembly Jubilee, Dardashti participated in a concert at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times hailed his performance as one of the highlights of the evening.
Dardashti has served congregations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, and Maryland. His opulent tenor voice and “kavanah” has inspired his congregants throughout the U.S. and at Beth El Synagogue in New Rochelle, where he presently serves as “Hazzan Emeritus”. He has served as a member of the Executive Council of the Cantors’ Assembly, has served on its Placement Commission, Standards and Qualifications Committee and has served as president of the New Jersey Region. Combining the styles of the Persian and Ashkenazi worlds, blending his technical skill and grace, Dardashti has been “guest hazzan” at synagogue services across the country.