Maureen Nehedar is an Israeli singer, creator and composer. She has created a revival of Persian-Jewish tradition poetry (Piyutim).
In 2014 she released the highly successful and widely praised album “Asleep in the Bosom of Childhood”, which reached the top of the charts for album sales in Israel.
Ha’aretz newspaper wrote the following about Maureen’s work, “Wonderful singer, excellent composer, (she creates) a natural and proper connection between art and folk culture, and between new and old”.
Maureen was born in Isfahan, Iran and moved to Israel as an infant with her family following the Islamic revolution in Iran and Khomeini’s rise to power.
As a youth, Maureen was one of the first singers to join the band “Ankor”, with whom she performed around the world in children and youth band competitions . Even then she was known as an extraordinary child with a very impressive voice. Between the ages of 10-18, she studied at the conservatory, “The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance”.
Maureen, an alumna of The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, received two degrees, one from the vocals department and the second from the Department of Composition, Conducting and Musical Education.
Despite her early training as a singer in the arena of classical-European music, Nehedar joined the Isfahan Ensemble the age of 17, performing classical Persian music and Persian folk songs. After a number of years, Maureen put together her own ensemble and along with performing, she began to research traditional Jewish- Persian poetry (piyutim), bringing many long forgotten poems out from oblivion.
Nehedar is the only composer in the world who performs traditional Jewish-Persian music and poetry. Likewise, she set the goal of continuing this disappearing tradition by writing her own original compositions in the scales of this ancient Persian music (Dastgah) and through reviving poetry and texts from Jewish sources. These compositions are integrated into her concerts along with traditional Persian folk lyrics, which she gives a modern touch in order to expose as many people as possible to the music and allow them to reconnect with it. These melodies are performed in her new album.
Nehedar has collaborated with many Israeli artists. Over the past decade she has performed throughout Israel and around the world, with her own ensemble, as a guest performer for other ensembles and with orchestras performing at world music festivals, classical western music festivals and modern music festivals. She has even performed with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Ra’anana and Be’er Sheva symphonies.
Maureen was amongst a list of prestigious artists who performed for a world music double album that was released by the BBC in 2012, in which she sang a traditional Persian folk lullaby.