Home to some of history’s most influential empires writers, and thinkers, Iran has no lack of attractions. For the discerning artist, historic mosques and gardens delight the eye; for the discerning musician, centuries of classical Iranian music melded with European instruments and forms offer up all the many flavors of innovation that continue to make music and musical collaborations such a vital part of Iranian culture. The legendary poets of Persia including Rumi, Firdausi, Omar Khayyam, Hafez, to name a few are revered as are the thousands of years of culture and well preserved ancient sites. Iran is also the birth place of Zoroastrianism, the religion of Indian born conductor Zubin Mehta, one of the leading luminaries of the classical music world, and many ancient sites are also well preserved.

Classical Movements started traveling to the Middle East in 1994, first with its brochure program under Blue Heart Tours. It has organized 50 different trips with individualized itineraries in recent years for the Collegiate Chorale, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Alumni Chorus, George Washington University, Yale Glee Club and the Yale Institute of Music (among others). Classical Movements also works closely with Middle Eastern musicians: in 2003, it arranged the historical tour of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra to the United States.

At the moment travel to and from Iran is not easy for American performing groups.

Sights & Sounds

  • Tehran
  • Legendary Persepolis
  • Golestan Palace
  • Isfahan
  • Dastgah Music
  • Church of Bethlehem
  • Mashhad
  • City Theater of Tehran
  • Poetry of Sa’adi & Hafez
  • Shiraz
  • Fajr International Music Festival
  • Vank Cathedral
  • Yazd


“Thank you for inviting us to participate in this wonderful IHLOMBE festival.  Musically, we, the Morgan State University Choir had an opportunity to hear some very fine choirs from South Africa and the United States. Culturally, we visited places that will change our lives forever…I personally know how much time and effort went into every detail of this trip.  You have given the students of these choir memories that will last a lifetime.”

-Morgan State University Choir

“I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed traveling with the choir to the Middle East…The travel arrangements were first rate, and it was obvious much thought was put into making sure we saw a wide sampling of each area we visited and experienced the culture and the people. Thank you, again, for making the choir’s travels an experience others can share. Insha’llah (God willing) I will be able to do this again.”

-Guest Traveler


“The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra visit involved a human element that transcended the usual business of arranging orchestra tours for Neeta Helms, executive vice president of Classical Movements. She ushered the musicians from their first nerve-wracking security checks at New York’s JFK Airport to their last tourist stop at Rockefeller Center on the way out of the country.”

-Symphony Magazine, March – April 2004