Pegah Varamini (PhD): Music Researcher, Composer, Pianist, Vocalist and director of Hezar Ava Ensemble Pegah started playing piano at age 9 under the auspices of maestro Ali Jafarian, a prominent and influential composer, violinist and pianist in Persian traditional and orchestral music. Alongside, she got professional training to sing Persian traditional repertoire since age 9. In 1998, Pegah started her collaboration with Shiraz University of Medical Sciences Chamber Orchestra as a pianist. Later in 1998, she joined “Fars Ladies Chamber Orchestra” conducted by maestro Ali Jafarian. Under the guidance of renowned composers, maestro Homayoun Khoram and Anoushiravan Rohani (an eminent pianist in Persian classical style as well), Pegah achieved a high level of musical technical skills. She won national prizes in deferent festivals such as 5th Jasmine Music Festival, 2003. She is also being trained to sing Persian Vocal Radif with Vahid Taaj, Maliheh Moradi and currently Peyman Nadimi, some of the renowned contemporary Persian traditional vocalists in Iran. She has been teaching piano since 2005.
After arriving in Australia, in 2009, Pegah proceeded to seek out musicians with whom to share this beautiful art. In January 2010, she formed Hezar Ava Ensemble, with the goal of introducing classical and traditional music of her country. She arranges and composes music by fusing the unique sounds of Persian traditional instruments and with that of Western classical instruments in this ensemble. Pegah has also sung in different choirs as a soprano singer, such as those of the Queensland Music Society (QUMS) and QPAC (2010–2015). Pegah has been a member of Queensland Iranian House of Music (QLD IHOM) management committee for the first year it was established (2012–2013), as well as Iranian Musicians in Australia (IMIA) (2014–2016). Currently, she is a member of NSW IHOM’s Professional Council of Music (2016–Present) She has got trained for professional music conducting by Dr. Debra Shearer-Dirié in 2012. Also to further expand her Knowledge of music and develop skills Pegah received training for Western classical piano (Matthew Harrison, 2013–2016) and violin (Rebecca Tzigankova, 2016–Present). Pegah commenced a collaborative work with a symphony orchestra, Orchestra Corda Spiritus, conducted by Dr Stephen Wu, in Brisbane (2014–Present). She arranged Persian classical repertoire selected from her own compositions or other composers together with Dr John Varney. She has performed successful concerts since the start of this creative collaboration. In July 2016, she performed Stabat Mater by Karl Jenkins, with The Sinfonia (led by Spiros Rantos) and Musica Antiqua Collegii Choir (Conductor: Barbara Clifford), as the Solo Oriental Vocalist, in Brisbane. In this concert, Pegah arranged and performed original Persian poems by Rumi along with Incantations in Persian traditional style. Pegah is currently studying Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree at the Queensland Conservatorium on her proposed idea of “Developing an Integrated Pedagogical Method for Persian Classical Music” under the supervision of Professor Gemma Carey and Professor Scott Harrison.