Habibu’llah Badi’i


Badi‘i, Habibu’llah (1932-1991)

Violinist, composer, and one of the five eminent soloists performing on the violin (beside Mahdi Khalidi, ‘Ali Tajvidi, Parviz Yahaqqi, and Humayun Khurram) in the Gulha programmes. He received his early musical education from Lutfu’llah Mufakhkham Payan at whose suggestion he went to study with his main master, Abu’l-Hasan Saba to further his musical education. His brilliant talent was able to flourish in Saba’s musical school. He worked at Radio Tehran from 1950 onwards as a soloist, composer, and orchestra conductor and during his twenty-eight year career there, he achieved many outstanding artistic successes and held numerous administrative posts as director and member of different councils. His academic education was in the field of geology. His namy wives included the vocalists Shams and Ruya who had performed his compositions. He was quite active in the Gulha programmes from 1955 onwards as a soloist and composer. He continued his participation in the Gulha throughout the period of Hushang Ibtihaj’s directorship. Aside from the Gulha programmes that he participated in which contained singing (mostly accompanied by Gulpayigani and Mahmudi Khvansari on the vocals), many of his own lyrical songs were performed in the Gulha and elsewhere. In 1959 he accompanied Marziya and a number of other instrumentalists performing in the Gulha in concerts held across throughout the United States. 

Badi‘i’s fame is mostly indebted to his exquisite skills in performance on the violin. Having been influenced by Saba and to some extent by Parviz Yahaqqi, he had unrivaled tonality and expression in his performances, which can be recognized by the powerful and firm bowing of his violin, and well-structured melodies that produced a vivid sound out of the instrument.

He resigned all administrative responsibilities at the radio in 1982 and passed away ten years later. Besides his performances recorded at private assemblies he was never very active in any domain of music outside that of the Iranian radio. His solo album titled Sidra (Iran Seda, Tehran 1378/1999) belongs to the period when he was at the zenith of his activities. He may be regarded as one of the lasting sounds in Persian performance on the violin.