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Piano Series

Abstractum: A Multimedia Experience Celebrating Iranian Culture of Art and Music

September 17, 2023 | 4 p.m. | Stewart Theatre

A collage of a flute player and pianist.

The NC State Department of
Performing Arts and Technology



A Multimedia Experience Celebrating Iranian Culture of Art and Music

With performances by

Olga Kleiankina (piano), Kelariz Keshavarz (flute)
and Ariana Fajerman (dance)


Abstractum (2020)

Alireza Mashayekhi (b. 1940)

  • I.
  • II.
  • III.

Kelariz Keshavarz, flute
Olga Kleiankina, piano

Sonata No. 2, Op. 158 (2002)

Alireza Mashayekhi
Kelariz Keshavarz, flute
Olga Kleiankina, piano

A La Recherche du Temps Perdu for solo flute (1994)

Alireza Mashayekhi
Kelariz Keshavarz, flute
Ariana Fajerman, choreography and dance

Sonata No. 3, Op. 179 (2007)

Alireza Mashayekhi
Kelariz Keshavarz, flute
Olga Kleiankina, piano

Seven-Color Tile I

Amin Sharifi, (b.1993)
Olga Kleiankina, piano

Seven-Color Tile II

Amin Sharifi
Olga Kleiankina, piano


Amin Sharifi
Olga Kleiankina, piano

Salt Flat Portals (2022)

Amin Sharifi
Kelariz Keshavarz, flute

Generative Visuals: featuring afro-futurist actors, footage from Great Salt Lake, pre-recorded string quartet and electronics

Persian Suite

Reza Vali, (b. 1952)

  1. Andante
  2. Meno Mosso
  3. Allegro Scherzando

Kelariz Keshavarz, flute
Olga Kleiankina, piano



Kelariz Keshavarz is an internationally acclaimed flutist, esteemed for her exceptional virtuosity and mastery of classical and contemporary music. With a deep passion for contemporary music, she has graced the stages of numerous festivals around the globe, including the Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, Missouri International Composers Festival, Flute New Music Consortium, National Flute Association, World Flute Festival, SiMN – International Symposium of New Music, Mid-South Flute Convention, Oklahoma Flute Society Flute Fair, Florida Flute Association Convention, Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, and the International Chamber Music Festival of Barranquilla among many others.

Her dedication to promoting the works of Iranian composers culminated in the groundbreaking “Iranian New Waves” project—an anthology of contemporary music released by Petrichor Records in 2020. As a performer-composer, Kelariz’s captivating electro-acoustic improvisations, “Minimpronics,” were released in 2021.

Fanfare Magazine praised Dr. Keshavarz for the “sheer variety of sounds and their expressions,” noting her remarkable virtuosity, and applauded her “sheer virtuosity” and ability to seamlessly integrate extended techniques into the musical discourse. Her performances have taken her worldwide, with appearances in Iran, Austria, Lebanon, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. 

A firm believer in nurturing and supporting contemporary music, Kelariz co-founded Petrichor Records, serves as the artistic director of the PR Young Iranian Composers Project, and collaborated with celebrated composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Ken Ueno, Katharina Rosenberger, Nina C. Young, Don Freund, and Reza Vali. Her discography boasts numerous releases on Petrichor Records, such as “Abstractum,” “Petrichor: Young Iranian Composers Project,” “Minimpronics,” “Iranian New Waves,” “Black Pierrot,” “Holh,” “Amin Sharifi: A Portrait of the Composer as a Young Man,” “Children songs, Goli Bud,” and “Children songs, Nabat Magazine vol 3-14.”

Dr. Keshavarz is an Assistant Professor of Flute at Western Carolina University. She plays a 14k gold Haynes custom flute and is a Haynes artist.

A passionate musician and an eclectic performer, Olga Kleiankina is an enthusiastic promoter of the music of living composers. Her international career evolved with solo and multimedia recitals, chamber music collaborations and concertos with orchestras in Russia, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Greece, France, Chile and across the United States.  Dr. Kleiankina has released two CD albums, “…Our Passage to the Stars…”, 2019 and Abstractum, 2022. Her new album featuring women composers of Classic era will be released later this year. Kleiankina has appeared in various new music festivals such as 2002 Sigismund Todutsa Festival in Romania, 2010 Sound Ways Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2012 New Music Festival in Moldova, 2014 Modern Music Festival in Santiago, Chile, 2021 World Flutes Festival XIII Edition in Argentina, 2021 Simpósio Internacional de Música Nova 2021 in Brazil and 2023 Chamber Music Festival in Barrannquilla, Colombia. She is currently the Teaching Professor of Piano at North Carolina State University.

Ariana Fajerman is from Davidson, North Carolina. She is a member of the State Dance Company at NC State, majoring in psychology with a minor in dance. Ariana has been dancing since she was two years old.


Alireza Mashayekhi is one of the most influential composers in Iran. He is the founder of the Tehran Contemporary Music Group. In 1995 he established the Iranian Orchestra for New Music. Mashayekhi’s compositions have been released on Hermes Records, Sub Rosa and Petrichor Records.

His music merges the Persian music tradition and the global music culture. He treats the ensemble of the piano and the flute in a very unique way, where the two instruments are equal partners. The use of the extended technique on both musical instruments is fascinating and serves the context and the architecture of the compositions.

Reza Vali is a composer of Iranian descent whose compositions have been performed in Europe, China, North America, South America and Australia and released on the Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, New Albion, MMC, Ambassador, Albany, and ABC Classics labels. Reza Vali has been a faculty member of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University since 1988.

Amin Sharifi is a contemporary composer from Iran. His music has been performed in various countries, including the United States, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Canada, Poland, the Czech Republic, and his home country of Iran. Sharifi has been praised for his creativity and artistic flair, with Kathleen Supove, a renowned contemporary music pianist, describing his work as “creative, individualistic, artistic,” while the Memphis Daily News labeled it the “product of an unbridled imagination.”

Sharifi’s music has been performed by a number of new music ensembles and orchestras, including the JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Ostravska Banda, Hypercube, A&C String Quartet, Luna Nova, DissonArt, Duo Sequenza, Pierrot-Tehran, Breakout, the Indiana University Symphonic Band, and the Indiana Philharmonic. He has been featured at various international music festivals, including ReMusik (2019), Ostrava Days (2019), Synthetis (2019), eviMus (2017), Tehran Contemporary Music Festival (2016, 2018, 2019), Druskomanija Festival (2018), WSU Contemporary Art Music Festival (2019), and RISUONANZE (2017, 2019). Sharifi has also had the honor of having his music performed by renowned soloists, such as Christopher Otto, Austin Wulliman, Alex Sopp, Verena Rojc, Oliver Dizdarevic, Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska, Wojtek Psiuk, and Futaba Niekawa.


Nesam Keshavarz is a freelance photographer, born in 1993 in Tehran, Iran who resides and creates in his home city. He is most passionate about street photography in Tehran. He holds an undergraduate degree in photography and has participated in several group exhibitions around the world. His photos have been published in several books and magazines such as Best of Lensculture vol 1, 2016, Life on Instagram, 2017, and “why street photography” in 2020. He has won many prizes and titles such as finalist in the Lensculture Streetphotography Awards in 2016 and 2019 and a finalist in the Palm Springs Photo Festival in 2019. He has been the artistic director of the Street Photography Foundation since 2017. Photography displayed with permission of the artist.

Born in 1990, Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji is a Persian artist and photographer born in northern Iran who now lives in Lyon, France.

He holds a BS in Physics and MA in Architecture,  Doing Panoramic and Architecture Photography. Domiri`s Photos use wide-angle view and High Dynamic Ranges. 

His latest photography collection named “Historic Persian/Islamic Monuments and Temples” has been exhibited and seen around the world. Photography displayed with permission of the artist.

Other artists whose photography was used under Unsplash license:

  • Aliata Karbaschi
  • Amir Hosseini
  • Azin Javadzadeh
  • Hamid Tajik
  • Hasan Almasi
  • RaaminKa
  • Saeed Karimi
  • Zahra Amin

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