Abolqassem Aref Ghazvini

Abolqassem Aref Qazvini was born in Qazvin in 1882, the son of Molla Hadi Vakil. From age thirteen he studied Persian vocal music with Haji Sadeq Kharrazi. After singing at religious ceremonies led by his father for a few years, he went to Tehran, where he was invited to perform at the court of Mozafareddin-Shah. During the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, he joined the revolutionist party and composed many political anti-dictatorship songs, becoming the first Persian songwriter to do so.

In the early years of World War I, Aref immigrated to Istanbul and continued his activities there. He wrote both the music and the lyrics for all of his songs, many of which (e.g., Az Khun-e Javanan-e Vatan, Hengam-e Mey-o 

Fasl-e Gol Shod, and Az Kafam Raha) were arranged for orchestra by other Persian composers, including Rouhollah Khaleghi. His songs have been in the standard repertoire of such great Persian singers as Qamarolmolouk Vaziri and Qolamhossein Banan.


Impoverished in the last years of his life, Aref went to Hamadan, where he died in 1934.