Majid Entezami Biography

Majid Entezami (born 9 March 1948) is an Iranian Composer, Conductor, Musician and Oboist. He composed music for 9 Television Series, 10 Suite Symphonies and over 80 Movies. His works include The Cyclist, The Fateful Day, The Glass Agency and The Insane Flew away which he won four times the best award for film music in International Fajr Film Festival of Tehran for them. Besides that, his music for The Train, Once Upon A Time, Cinema, From Karkheh To Rhine, Attack on H-3, The Fragrance of Joseph’s Shirt, Duel, A Place To Live, Intense Cold, The Saint Mary, The Men of Anjelos, The Wolves are The Loneliest General are some of his notable, memorable and nostalgic works for Iranians. Majid Entezami is one of the most active film composers after the revolution of Iran.

Early life 

Majid Entezami was born in 1948 in Tehran. He learned music by playing the Oboe as his professional instrument in Tehran Conservatory of Music. After graduation he was forced to travel to Germany for a medical operation, he decided to continue his studies at State University of West Berlin under the supervision of Karl Steins and Lothar Koch in 1968. He performed successful concerts with Berlin University Symphony Orchestra in Lyon, Nancy and Marseille from 1969 to 1972.

In 1973 Entezami came to Iran by the invitation of Tehran Symphony Orchestra and performed a successful Mozart concert as Oboe Soloist, conducted by Helge Dorsch. After this concert Journal de Tehran called him one of the most talented young musicians in Iran. Then he returned to Germany as a member of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and West Deutsche Philharmonie.

In 1974 he became a member of Tehran Symphony Orchestra as well as teacher at the Tehran Conservatory and music department of Tehran University. After his return he has performed two oboe recitals with Lucette Martirossian on piano and cembalo and Ivan Pristas on Fagot in 1976 and a concert with orchestra of “Les Jeunesses Musicales de I’Iran” conducted by Ali Rahbari and Valodia Tarkhanian as viola d’amore soloist.

Becoming a Film composer

Even though his father is Ezzatollah Entezami, one of the most famous Iranian actors with many awards in his career, the story of how his son Majid, enters the cinema industry is completely separate from that fact.

In 1977, because of some differences of opinion with the symphonic orchestra of Tehran, he resigned from playing in the orchestra and teaching in the university, and by picking some unrelated job to his expertise, he tried to carry on. At this time, Ahmadreza Ahmadi one of his friends who had a position in Kanoon (Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults), suggested composing some music for some contemporary poetry.

After composing music for some poems of Foroogh Farrokhzad and Nosrat Rahmani, he found another position for composition of music for an animation, Zaal and Simorgh by Ali Akbar Sadeghi, then he wrote music for his first cinema work on Journey of the Stone, directed by Masoud Kimiaei, who was a famous director of that time.

Music Characteristic

Entezami has a profound understanding of the picture and has always tried to penetrate into the story even deeper than what the picture presents, to tell the untold essence of the story. He also tries to experience with a variety of styles which has made his portfolio full of different pieces. From comedies like Once Upon a Time, Cinema by Mohsen MakhmalBaf, to creation of epic war stories.

The music of Entezami is orchestral, and based on western classic music rules, but he introduces Iranian instruments with unusual rhythms which make his works sound eastern. He creates new atmospheres in his music by using synthesizers, creativity in making new sounds by combining sounds from different instruments, or by using a sound range less common in the instruments that he uses. These sounds, albeit new, are close to the mentality of the characters. Using the sound of stones in the film The Fateful Day, by Shahram Assadi, is a good example of this.

Every theme and musical color heard in Entezami’s work has a rational explanation in the story. He believes that music tells a part of the story that is not already told in picture. Some of his works are so creative and narrative that they seem like a part of the script and the directors wanted such music, but the interesting point is, he maintains that no director ever asked him for such characteristics.

For example we can point to the creative idea of using films’ musical ideas in Once Upon a Time, Cinema . In this film, parts of the film Lor Girl are played for the Shah and his court, but the actress of the main character Golnar, which the Shah has fallen in love with, comes out of the film and becomes real. Instead of creating new music, Entezami uses the main theme of the movie Lor Girl in all the scenes that she is present, with variations to the theme that indicate this is not the original Lor Girl, but Golnar who has traveled in time and found herself in the Shah’s palace. No other piece of music could convey the message so accurately. He also gives a brief hint as to what is going to happen next, before the scenes of Lor Girl, by playing the main melody from that film together with a beautiful waltz.

Also, in the last scene of the film, we see the picture of a fetus, which reminds the audience of the movie 2001, A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. The composer then writes a piece inspired by Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, 1894, to make a deeper impression of the picture.

In another collaboration with Makhmalbaaf, Entezami shows life in opposition to death, in The peddler . In the scene where the old lady is dying, she draws her last breath with the deceleration of the clock, instead of a requiem for he death, Entezami recreates the sound of the stopped clock with piano, Harp, and glockenspiel. This is when a fair girl appears in a carriage and is accompanied by an epic music by choir and orchestra.

Sharareh Sheikhkhan, Oct 2020, “Analysis of Iranian Film Music (With Focus on Some Contemporary Composers)”, Master Thesis, InMICS.


Score For Motion Picture:

Zaal and Simorgh – ۱۹۷۷

Journey of the Stone – ۱۹۷۸

Sun-Dwellers – ۱۹۸۰

In Siege – ۱۹۸۱

The Red Line – ۱۹۸۲

Senator – ۱۹۸۳

The Case – 1983

Sardar-e Jangal – ۱۹۸۴

The Eagles – ۱۹۸۵

Tornado – ۱۹۸۵

The Broken Gun – ۱۹۸۵

High School – ۱۹۸۶

Plaque – ۱۹۸۶

The Thief and the Writer – ۱۹۸۶

The Peddler – ۱۹۸۶

The Assignment – ۱۹۸۶

The Passage – 1986

The Train – ۱۹۸۷

Kani Manga – ۱۹۸۷

Love Nest – ۱۹۸۷

Fright – ۱۹۸۷

Crisis – 1987

The Cyclist – ۱۹۸۸

The Pit – 1988

Canary Yellow – ۱۹۸۸

The Dome of Light – 1988

Rajayi School – 1989

O Negative – ۱۹۸۹

The Last Flight – 1989

The 29th Night – ۱۹۹۰

Fire Under Ashes – 1990

Glass Eye – 1990

Lucifer – ۱۹۹۰

The Sea For You – ۱۹۹۰

The Dream of Marriage – ۱۹۹۰

Kowkab’s Secret – ۱۹۹۰

Deportees – 1991

Avinar – 1991

Union of the God – 1991

Once Upon a Time, Cinema – 1991

The Boots – 1991

The Unfinished Man – 1992

The Bait – 1992

The Lightning – 1992

From Karkheh To Rhein – ۱۹۹۲

Secret of the Knife – 1992

Suspicion – ۱۹۹۳

The Last Hit – ۱۹۹۳

Replicant – 1993

The Path of Glory – 1994

The Last Blood – 1994

The Heart and Dagger – 1994

The Fateful Day – 1994

Attack on H-3 – ۱۹۹۴

One Night, One Stranger – 1994

Great Expectation – 1994

The Survivor – 1995

The Summit of the World – 1995

The Scent of Joseph’s Shirt – 1995

The Enemy – 1995

A Moment of Innocence – ۱۹۹۵

The Sunny Man – 1995

Speed – 1996

The Glass Agency – ۱۹۹۷

The Apple – 1997

Love Without Frontier – 1998

Protest – ۱۹۹۹

The Silence – 2000

I Am Taraneh, I Am Fiftheen Years Old – 2001

Noora – 2001

The Insane Flew Away – ۲۰۰۲

Naghmeh – 2002

Duel – 2003

Big Drum Under Left Foot – ۲۰۰۴

A Place To Live – ۲۰۰۴

Intense Cold – 2009

And The Blue Sky – 2010

Karbala: The Geography of a History – 2014

P22 – 2014

Score For TV Series:

The Wolves – 1988

Men of Angelos – 1996

The Loneliest General – 1997

Saint Mary – 1999

The Trial – 1998

Hujr Ibn Adi – 2001

The Song of the Fog – 2003

Sheikh Baha’I – 2008

Pahlavi Hat – ۲۰۱۲


The Symphony of the Epic of Khorramshar

Perspolis Suite

Suite Symphony of Peace

Nano Suite

Suite Symphony of Sacrifice

Suite Symphony of Revolution

Suite Symphony of Resistance

Symphony of Victory

Karoon Suite

Symphony of Epic