1. What is your organization or company. Give background history including who, when, and why it was founded.
AISO (Austrian Iranian Symphonic Orchestra) is founded on 2006, it is a symphonic orchestra with ACF (Austrian Cultural Forum) which is a cultural exchange platform. ACF is founded in 1955 and is the only cultural forum in Tehran who survived the Iran’s revolution in 1979. Up to 2006, ACF was only dedicated to offering language classes (German) and also literature speeches, though after 2006 it added Opera Studio, Symphonic orchestra, choir and theater.
2. What do they do or make? Describe the products and services and what makes them unique.
AISO is a symphonic orchestra and so music is their product, though there some features that make them unique in Tehran,
1. This Orchestra has too many cello players In Tehran we do not have many cello players in compare with violinists. Although even Tehran Symphonic has 8 cello players at the best case, AISO played Beethoven’s 8th symphony with 10 cello players! and this was one of my reasons for taking cello scroll as my logo.
2. Most of the musicians of AISO are young musicians and so AISO works as a “musician maker” orchestra, and somehow it can be said AISO does the educational part of Iran’s music.
3. It provides musicians with free master classes with Austrian instructors.
3. What is the culture and atmosphere of the organization/meetings? Characteristics of their location and important roles and relationships?
The organization is located in an old building in the upper part of Tehran. Upper part of Tehran is the place for rich people and ironically American’s “downtown” is “uptown” for us! This building has 11 classes in it a hall with a Bozen- Dorfer royal piano in it. This piano is an very old expensive piano. The rent of the house is paid by Austrian Government and they have rented the house over 20 years ago. Interior design of ACF is in contrast with its old look.
4. Who is the targeted audience? What are their demographics?
Musicians, their family and friends. Although AISO is doing a big job in Tehran but because of the dominance of the young people in it, it is counted as an amateur orchestra. This assumption can be also because of the poor publicity of ACF. ACF wants to present AISO in front of the ambassador’s of other countries. Demographics of audience and attendees varies with the programs.
Opera Studio: mostly young girls take part in this program because singing is banned for women in Iran and “Austrian Soil” is not counted as Iran even within Tehran, so female singers can sing and perform there.
AISO: Young musicians (female\male) up to 25 years old, and those old musicians who do not think they know everything and want to take advantage of master classes.
Choir: Young singers male and female.
5. What is the organization or company mission statement?
Based on cultural dialogue, ACF is created to play a role in cultural convergence of different religions, and wants to be an organization in sake and seek of peace between these nations.