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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Arsalan Kamkar
It was a VIP audience for what was likely the last performance of the venerable Tehran Symphony Orchestra. Watching from the front row in late August was Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in what was seen as an endorsement from the ruling theocracy, which once tried to stamp out all music as a violation of Islamic values.
The Iranian national symphony orchestra has been disbanded for lack of funds, musicians said Monday, another sign of the effects of Western economic sanctions..
Arsalan Kamkar, a violinist in the orchestra, told The Associated Press on Monday that "only seven or eight members of the orchestra have valid contracts.
Kamkar said the shutdown highlights the dislike for Western-oriented culture by Iran's rulers, who are also sitting on one of the world's prized collections of European and American modern art.