Tirgan 2021

Designed by Negar Aflaki

IRSA is honored to organize the very first in-presence public event on the EPFL campus after the COVID19 pandemic. This event takes place respecting the sanitary measures.

About Tirgan

Tirgan is an ancient Iranian mid-summer fest. This cultural fest is still celebrated worldwide among the Iranian, and Parsis of India. For instance, the Yearly Tirgan festival in Canada is one of the most worldwide renowned cultural and artistic festivals which is organized by the Iranian community and international people who are interested in ancient Persian culture. 

The Tirgan festivity refers to the archangel, ‘Tir’ (meaning arrow) or ‘Tishtar’ (lightening), referring to thunderstorms that bring much-needed rain that boost harvest and avert drought. The ancient legend of the Tir (arrow) refers to “Arash of the swift arrow” or ‘Arash the archer’. The legend has it that Arash was the best archer in the Persian army. He was selected to settle a land dispute between Persia and Turan (present-day Central Asia). When the kings of the two lands decided to settle their dispute and to set a permanent border between Persia and Turan, they arrived at a mutual understanding that Arash should climb to the peak of Mount Damavand, and from there shoot an arrow toward the east. Wherever his arrow landed, they agreed, would determine the border between the two kingdoms. This agreement was made in order to prevent the war between the two countries. Arash shot his arrow (Tir) on the 13th day of the Persian month of Tir, which fell on the banks of the Jeyhun (the Oxus) River. Thus, the borders of the two empires were marked, and Arash passed away immediately and his body was never found. This fest celebrates the peace gifted after this epical-historical event.


Statue of Arash-e-Kamangir and mount Damavand

Tirgan 2021

The plan of Tirgan 2021 is as follows:

  1. Welcome Talk & Opening speech
  2. Iranian classical music
  3. Dinner (Take-away)

Date: 24 July 2021

Start: 6 PM

Location: Salle Polyvalente, EPFL (Map below)

Damsaz Ensemble Concert

Iranian classical music

Composer and Tar & Setar Player, Hamid Motebassem was born in 1958 in Mashad, Iran. He was raised in a musical family, where his brother was a violinist and his first teacher was his father, Ali Motebassem who played the Tar. His subsequent teachers included the masters Habiballah Salehi, Zeydallah Toloie, Houshang Zarif, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Lotfi. Motebassem studied in the Tehran School of Art and the Conservatory of Persian Music. He was a member of the Chavosh Cultural Center where he taught music. One of the original members of Aref Ensemble, he founded Dastan Ensemble, as well as Ensemble Chakavak, Emsemble Mezrab & Simorq orchestra upon immigration to Germany in 1986.
Hamid Motebassem is the founder of the Society of Tar and Setar and has since 1994 organized annual seminars dedicated to the two instruments. He has performed on numerous albums of contemporary Iranian composers as well as on all the released works of the Dastan Ensemble since 1992, among which “Hanaie” won the title “Musical Shock“ in the music journal Le Monde and “Shurideh” received the 2003 Best Music of the Year Award from the French Ministry of Culture. Motebassem is one of the most renowned composers of Iran, and his works for Ensemble Dastan and also for large orchestra (SIMORQ & PARDIS) are praised with great distinction.
Artist’s website: [ www.motebassem.com ]

Sara Hamidi, Born in 1987, Isfahan, is one of the well-known Iranian singers. She started to learn « Radif » (Persian Traditional Repertoire) at the age of 19 under the supervision of « Maedeh Tabatabaei » in Isfahan, Iran. According to her mentors such as Mohammadreza Shajarian, her voice is particularly unique and differentiates her from other singers; enabling her to work in parallel in two totally different repertoires: Persian classical and Lyrical singing.
Due to her enthusiasm to learn Opera, she left Iran for France in 2012. She had common musical projects with famous Iranian musicians such as Hooman Khalatbari, Majid Derakhshani, Keivan Saket, Majid Khalaj, and Ali-Akbar Ghorbani. She has been invited as a singer in more than 60 Iranian and 20 Lyrical concerts and festivals in Europe, North Africa, and Canada since 2012. Sara Hamidi is deeply engaged in supporting the Iranian women musicians and singers. Her collaboration with « Mah Banoo Ensemble » under the supervision of Majid Derakhshani and participation in the online concert of « Music of Hope » organized by the Iranian-American Women Foundation (IAWF) are examples of this engagement.

Samira Golbaz was born in 1984. She holds B.A of music from Sooreh University and M.A in Art-Research from Islamic Azad University. Her main instructors in playing Setar and Iranian music principles were Ataollah Jangook, Hamid Sokouti, Bahram Jamali, Alireza Rastinfar, Masoud Shaari, and Hamid Motebassem. Her most important artistic activities include teaching music, collaborating with some music groups (such as Torgheh, Sarv-e-Azad, and Mezrab), collaborating with Hamid Motebassem as a Tar and Setar player in some albums such as “Zemzemeha”, “Zemestan”, “To kisti”, “Tar-o-Pud”, and “My Colorful Dreams”. She performed in several countries and different international festivals, and written music articles and reviews as well.

Shahab Eghbali, born in 1992 in Tehran, began his Daf training in 2009, apprenticed to his instructors, Mohammad Tarighat and Hossein Rezaeenia, respectively. Later he self-taught the Iranian Dayereh, and apprenticed the Tonbak and the Pejhvak (tunable Bendir sets) with Sina Khoshkbijari. With Hamid Motebassem, he enriched his improvisation and melody accompaniment techniques. As of 2014, he is the teacher of the Iranian Daf at the Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie (ADEM), Geneva. He has performed with a wide variety of musicians in Europe and Asia, including The Pardis Orchestra with Hamid Motebassem, Arev Ensemble, Laudetsi Ensemble, Duo Mathieu Clavel & Shahab Eghbali, and with the Iranian pianist Fariborz Lachini. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at the Laboratory of Fluid Mechanics and Instabilities at EPFL.

The takeaway dinner is served after the concert by a professional caterer in the region of Lausanne. The menu consists of delicious Iranian plates, including a vegetarian plate. For further information, see the registration form.


Please register to Tirgan 2021 ONLY through the google form, latest until the end of 20 July 2021 (If not sold-out).


Registration form




BA/MA, Intern

University employee*:  Ph.D., Postdoc, Staff

Concert + Dinner** 8 CHF 18 CHF 25 CHF
Only Concert 5 CHF 8 CHF 15 CHF
Only Dinner** 5 CHF 15 CHF 15 CHF

* Similar for their Spouse (only unemployed)

** Takeaway; to be consumed off-campus


For more information regarding the event and reservation, please contact us:

Email: [email protected]

Telegram: @IRSA_EPFL