12/12/2017, 14.43
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For the first time since the Islamic Revolution, a western band performs in Tehran

Germany-based Schiller, an electronic band that has sold seven million albums, will perform for five straight evenings. For decades, Iran’s clerical rulers had banned concerts seen as a "cultural invasion". Now they are sign that the Islamic Republic is opening up under moderate President Rouhani.

Teheran (AsiaNews) – For the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a Western pop group is giving a series of concerts in Iran.

Schiller, an electronic band led by Christopher von Deylen, is a leading industry group with over seven million albums sold worldwide.

It will perform five concerts in the Iranian capital, from 11 to 15 December, the Tehran Times reported. The first two, on Monday and Tuesday, were sold out. Tickets for the remaining three concerts are selling well.

This is a sign of the interest of Iranians, especially the young, for social and economic release through music and the arts, tired of the hegemony of the country’s clerical leaders.

Schiller, which takes its name from the German poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller, has been very popular among young Iranian fans of European electronic music.

However, no public concert has been held for decades because of a ban imposed by Iran’s clerical establishment, which considers Western music as part of a plan of "cultural invasion" of the country.

A 2008 attempt by Iranian music company TS to put on a concert in Tehran by Irish singer Chris de Burgh was called off at the last minute after the clerics vetoed it, despite TS having obtained a permit from the Ministry of Culture.

This month’s concerts are a sign of the small changes underway in the Islamic Republic since the coming to power of the recently re-elected moderate President Hassan Rouhani who has pushed for the nuclear deal, fostered economic growth and opened up to civil society.

Schiller will perform some of its most famous pieces. Along with all its greatest hits, fans can expect an extra "surprise," von Deylen said.

The concerts are organised by Ritmeno.ir, a local music website, in collaboration with the Tehran-based cultural institutes of Nay-o-Ney and Tanin-e Roya-e Pars directed by Mehdi Kashi and Mostafa Kabiri respectively.

The concert venue is located on Shahid Gomnam St, Fatemi Square.

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