Davud Pirnia

Pirnia, Davud (1900-1971), founder and director of the Golha radio programs at the Radio Tehran, later Radio Iran (established in 1956) for 11 years. Born in Tehran to Hassan Pirnia (Mushir al Dawleh) an influential politician of 20-century Iran, 4 times prime minister and the daughter of ‘Ala’ al-Dawla, a Qajar dignitary. He married his maternal cousin Khanoum Ghamar Tadj and they had four children Mahindokht, Mehrdokht, Guitydokht, Mehriar and with his second wife he had a further five children Bahram, Dariush, Bijan, Shahrokh, Farokh. Having received his preliminary education at home, and by way of his father’s associates he was exposed to the most brilliant intellectuals of the time. He went on to study at the Saint Louis school in Tehran where he gained mastery of French. He completed his graduate studies in Law in Switzerland. On his return to Iran he entered government service.

Davud Pirnia was co-founder of the Iranian bar association, he also wrote the association’s constitution. He was later transferred from the Justice Ministry to the Ministry of Finance where he founded the Iranian Statistics Department. He served as the Director General of the Inspection Department during the premiership of Ahmad Qavam in 1946 and after a few months was appointed as the premier’s deputy. Following the fall of Qavam’s cabinet, he retired from government offices. Relying his legal practice and the means inherited from his father, he devoted his time to the study of Persian music and poetry. . His inaugurated the first children’s programs on the radio, in which his young son Bijan was the master of ceremonies.

He went on to found the Golha Javidan programs for the Radio wherein he made use of the expertise of the most prominent musicians, composers, vocalists and literary scholars. He succeeded in attracting the attention of the Plan and Budget Organization to accord significance to the dissemination of Persian classical music and poetry. Following the allocation of the required budget, he established an orchestra where musicians, vocalists, and composers of renown performed their compositions and revived earlier compositions. Davod Pirnia went on to found four more programs on the radio Golha-yi Rangarang, Barg-i Sabz, Yik Shakha Gol, Golha-yi Sahra’i. These programs revolutionized musical programs on the radio and became a model to be followed by subsequent producers to this day. He also wrote articles, which appeared in a number of periodicals in the 1950s and 1960s. The Golha radio programs were originally devoted to declamation of poetry accompanied by musical instruments, though eventually they incorporated some of the most memorable ballads and orchestral pieces of the twentieth century. Pirnia benefited from the collaboration of the most talented and outstanding, musicians, composers, lyricists, vocalists and literary historians of his time, as well as his own profound knowledge of Persian poetry and appreciation of Persian music. The general public welcomed his refined taste and precision in selecting poetry and combining it with musical pieces. After an absence due to illness he returned briefly to the radio in 1966, but shortly after that he resigned in 1967 Golha rang a rang no. 405 is the last program recorded under his supervision. He died in Tehran 1971 at the age of 71.