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Marzieh - a profile
Ashraf os-Sadat Mortezai or Marzieh as she has been konwn to Iranians for the last 50 years, is a legend in her lifetime, and the most prominent iranian Singer

Marzieh was born in 1926 in Tehran. Her father was a learned clergyman and her mother came from an artistic family which included sculptors, painters, miniaturists, musicians and singers. Her mother inspired her to sing and supported her during her entire life.

At the time, when families were less inclined to send their daughters to school, my father, though a clergyman, encouraged me to go through formal education, says Marzieh. When I began to sing it was extremely difficult to become a singer. One needed both a good voice and a good knowledge of music and singing. Moreover, theory of music. Thus, I spent many years training under masters of persian music before I formally began to sing.
Marzieh entered the world of art in 1942, in famous iranian play, Shirin and Farhad, for 37 nights and was an immediate success. In the pm, I was on air, performing live. The public reacted enthusiastically.
Marzieh attained such skill, technique and cognition that composers, song writers and poets competed to get her to perform their works. considering that their most important artistic honor. She was the firs singer to take part in Tehran's most prestigious program of the day, the colorful Flowers. In the company of the most famous masters of persian music, Marzieh performed more than 1,000 songs during her career. She is distinguished for her innovation of a new style and influence in Persian Music.

Yet beyond her achievements in singing and music, she has remarkable qualities as principles, brave and brilliant woman. She ernerged as a star at a time when fanatics scorned and humilliated music, players and singers, calling them "corrupt" and when women were locked in their homes under very oppressive conditions. As a young woman, she approached singing as a serious profession and showed tremendous dignity in performing only works of a high cultural under the adverse conditions of the time made her a musical icon, loved by the people and praised as a cultural treasure.