Lily Afshar, a celebrated musician in the world of classical guitar, is a musical trailblazer who has etched her name in history through extraordinary talent and tireless dedication.
As of 2023, she has enriched the global musical landscape with her remarkable artistry, captivating audiences with innovative guitar arrangements, passion for preserving Persian and Azerbaijani music traditions, and groundbreaking performances.
Her musical journey began as a child when she discovered the guitar, setting the stage for a lifelong pursuit of excellence.
Through formal education and groundbreaking achievements, including becoming the first woman in the world to earn a Doctor of Music in guitar performance, she has left an indelible mark on the world of classical guitar.
What happened to Lily Afshar?
The world of music is mourning the loss of a true luminary, as Professor Lily Afshar, a trailblazing Iranian guitarist and the first woman in the world to earn a doctorate in guitar, passed away at 63 after a long battle with illness.
Lily Afshar’s untimely death has left the music community in deep sorrow, as her contributions to the classical guitar world were immeasurable. Her recent work was published in Iran, making her passing all the more poignant.
A funeral ceremony will be held in her honor in Tonekabon, in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran, on October 25, 2023, where the world will bid farewell to this musical genius. Lily Afshar’s legacy will live on through her groundbreaking work and profound impact on music.
Who was Lily Afshar?
Lily Afshar served as a professor and directed the guitar program at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. She has earned accolades and awards that reflect her dedication to teaching.
Lily’s commitment to preserving and sharing music led to her arrangements for guitar and the publication of “Five Popular Persian Ballads” with Mel Bay Publications. She also created a DVD in 2008 titled “Virtuoso Guitar,” which showcases her live performances and provides insight into her musical journey.
To further enrich the learning experience for guitar enthusiasts, she released two instructional DVDs, “Classical Guitar Secrets,” Vols. I and II, through GuitarControl.com.
Her most recent work, titled “Essential Bach: Adapted for the Guitar by Lily Afshar,” stands as evidence of her unwavering commitment to the world of classical guitar.
What sets Lily Afshar’s performances apart is the combination of extraordinary technical precision and a passionate musicality deeply rooted in her unique life story. Her stage presence has captivated audiences in the United States and across the globe.
Her performances are a tribute to the rich and beautiful tapestry of music, much like a Persian miniature, and her music resonates with the deep-rooted history of the guitar.
How old was Lily Afshar?
Lily Afshar, an eminent figure in the world of music, was born on March 9, 1960, in Tehran, Iran. In 2023, she reaches the age of 63, bringing a wealth of experience and artistry to her craft.
Her nationality and citizenship proudly belong to Iran, reflecting her deep connection to Persian roots. Lily is a distinguished guitarist and a renowned musical artist.
Lily Afshar’s Career and Journey
Lily Afshar is a musical artist whose Persian heritage has been the wellspring of her most remarkable creative endeavors. Hailing from a family with deep musical roots in Iran, she has artfully integrated the rich traditions of Persian and Azerbaijani folk music into her arrangements for the classical guitar, crafting musical compositions as exquisite as a Persian miniature.
Her remarkable journey in music is underpinned by a solid education foundation, including a bachelor’s degree from the Boston Conservatory and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory.
Certainly, she made history as the first woman in the world to receive a Doctor of Music in guitar performance, a remarkable accomplishment she attained during her studies at Florida State University.
Afshar’s passion for pushing the boundaries of the traditional guitar repertoire has led contemporary classical composers to seek her out for collaborative projects, culminating in the premieres of remarkable compositions.
Lily Afshar’s remarkable career reflects a profound commitment to music, education, and cultural bridging. With her concerts taking her across the globe, from Wigmore Hall in London to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, she has demonstrated the power of music to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries, connecting people through the universal language of melody and harmony.
Her dedication to expanding the horizons of classical guitar and her unwavering passion for innovation make Lily Afshar an exceptional artist whose influence continues to resonate in music.
Meet Lily Afshar’s Husband and Family
Lily Afshar hasn’t revealed anything about her marriage life; some reports say that she was not married to anyone throughout her life, but some reports say that she is married and also a mother to her children, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Lily Afshar’s journey in music and guitar is deeply rooted in her family’s artistic influences. Her personal story began in Iran, where she was born. Her family has a deep connection to the historical region of Azerbaijan, situated in northern Iran.
At age ten, her musical journey took a pivotal turn when she visited a cousin taking guitar lessons. Captivated by the instrument’s enchanting melodies, she expressed her love for the guitar to her father.
The following day, her father gifted her with her inaugural guitar and arranged for her to start receiving lessons. Her father, a skilled electrical engineer who received education in England and America, played a pivotal role in fostering her creative endeavors.
Lily Afshar Education Background
Lily Afshar’s remarkable journey in music education began with her prodigious talent and passion for the guitar. She initially pursued her musical aspirations at the Boston Conservatory, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in music.
Driven by her relentless pursuit of excellence, she embarked on a transformative journey at the New England Conservatory, ultimately earning her Master of Music degree. However, her pursuit of musical excellence didn’t stop there.
Lily pursued her education at Florida State University, where she learned from the esteemed instructor Bruce Holzman. She achieved a historic milestone in this institution as the world’s first woman to attain a Doctor of Music in guitar performance.
Lily’s dedication to her craft extended beyond her formal education. She continued to refine her abilities by attending summer courses at renowned institutions like the Banff Centre for Fine Arts and the Aspen Music Festival.
She received scholarships for advanced training at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, where the renowned Oscar Ghiglia mentored her.
Her remarkable journey also included the honor of playing for the legendary Maestro Andrés Segovia during his master classes at the University of Southern California.