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Musikfest Berlin 2023

The Māhbānoo Ensemble, founded in Iran in 2014, consists exclusively of female musicians. The musicians will travel to Musikfest Berlin from Tehran and Europe in order to finally make their public concert debut in Germany: with traditional Persian music that goes back for centuries.


As women have been forbidden to sing in public in the country since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the ensemble has been prevented from making public performances.

The ensemble’s founder, Majid Derakhshāni, has been banned from performing and practicing his profession as a result of the initiative and his musical activities are categorized as a crime.

The group’s name combines the Persian words “bānoo” (lady) and “māh” (moon) and means “a lady as beautiful as the moon.”

Māhbānoo Ensemble:
  • Nāzanin Ghanizādeh Asl - Kamantsche
  • Sarā Rezazādeh - Tar
  • Hannāneh Saeidi - Kanun
  • Shivā Ahmadisepehr - Oud
  • Sahar Zibāei - vocals
  • Sabā Zolfaghari - Daf
  • Niloufar Mohseni - Tombak
  • Majid Derakhshāni - Tar, Setār, vocals, composition and direction

Majid Derakhshāni
Improvisation in "Dastgāh-e Shoor" mode

Works in "Bayāt-e Tork" and "Bayāt-e Esfahan" mode
with poems by Rumi, Hafez and Gholāmreza Ghodsi



  • A joint initiative of the Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin, musica viva of the Bayerischer Rundfunk and the Körber Foundation.

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Additional information
Participating artists
Māhbānoo Ensemble
Nāzanin Ghanizādeh Asl
Sarā Rezazādeh
Hannāneh Saeidi
Shivā Ahmadisepehr
Sahar Zibāei
Sabā Zolfaghari
Majid Derakhshāni