Renowned traditional Iranian musician Mohammad-Reza Lotfi has passed away at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.
Lotfi died at a hospital in the capital city of Tehran on Friday morning.
Born on January 7, 1947, in the northern city of Gorgan, the musician was renowned as the father of a new aesthetics in Persian music and for his mastery of the tar and setar.
The prolific musician is widely believed to have revolutionized the Persian traditional music through his innovative approach of combining the classical with folk elements and introducing a new vitality into the Persian music.
In 1964, Lotfi won his first prize in Iran's Young Musicians Festival and a year later he started his studies at the National Conservatory in Tehran under Habibollah Salehi and Master Ali Akbar Shahnazi.
The Iranian music maestro also studied western classical music and the violin which led him to collaborate in various orchestras.
Lotfi also worked at the Center for the Preservation and Propagation of Traditional Iranian Music, both as a soloist and a conductor.
In 1973, Lotfi joined the faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University and at the same time started his collaboration with Radio and Television.
In 1975 he founded the Shayda Ensemble.
Between 1978 and 1980, Lotfi became the Chairman of the School of Music at Tehran University and also served as the director of the Center for the Preservation and Propagation of Traditional Iranian Music and the Chavosh Conservatory.
Formed by Iranian music icons, including Hossein Alizedeh, Mohammadreza Shajarian, Parviz Meshkatian, Ali Akbar Shekarchi, Shahram Nazeri, Houshang Ebtehaj, etc., Chavosh Conservatory is considered as a monumental turning point in the history of Persian music.
Lotfi continues creation of numerous masterpieces both as a solo artist and with major Iranian musicians such as, Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri, Hossein Alizadeh, and Parviz Meshkatian.
The prolific musician also held numerous concerts in Iran and across the world.