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Music Preview: ; Free UC concert honors lessons inspired by Sept. 11

Iranian-born Farzad Khozein was aghast at the news like any other American on Sept. 11.

"I remember watching that on TV," the classically-trained violinist said from his home in Albuquerque, N.M. "It did something to me. I questioned myself, 'My God! Why do people do this?' These things are happening all over the world."

Khozein, a member of the Bahai faith, is giving a free concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the University of Charleston. The concert, featuring Khozein's original work punctuated by spiritual readings, is sponsored by the Spiritual Assembly of Bahais of Charleston. Admission is free and audience members are asked not to make donations.

Khozein sees the concert - one of eight performances he will give in the coming months - as a way to reflect and learn from the events of Sept. 11. On that day terrorists hijacked four airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

"Because of the events on Sept. 11, we are reminded that this world is in need of a remedy or spiritual guidance," he said. "When things like Sept. 11 happen, we can heal ourselves. [Music] is a healing process, I think."

Born in Tehran, Khozein moved to the United States in 1973 to continue his musical education. After receiving a BA in performance from Indiana University, the concert violinist became concertmaster for the National Symphony of Ecuador.

More recently, the 46-year-old composer and performer has been writing and recording in a number of musical styles. The introspective Khozein is working on a piece about the Sept. 11 attacks, tentatively titled "Final Thoughts."

He doubts the piece will be finished in time for Saturday's performance. But he said listeners will find plenty to think about in his soul-baring music.

"The pieces I'm going to be playing are not all somber," he said. "It's a celebration of oneness, so to say.

"Through my music I would like to touch the heart and soul of my audience," he said. "Regardless of where we come from, whether we're going through happiness or sadness, we all share the same emotions."

As terrible as the events of Sept. 11 were, Khozein said, some good came out of the tragedy.

"At first, it was a great disappointment," he said. "Then, we started to see everybody start to help each other. It creates a sense of hope. It was a wake-up call. It's important to remember we are capable of helping each other."

To contact staff writer Rusty Marks, use e-mail or call 348-1215.

©Copyright 2001, The Charleston Gazette

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