November 2019


Goethe & Hafez: an evening of poetry and music


Roof of The Tomb of Hafez


Date & Time

Monday 9th December




Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street

London W1G 7LP


Organised by

The Iran Heritage Foundation


This year marks the 200th anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s ‘West–Eastern Divan’, his collection of poems which were partly inspired by the celebrated 14th-century Iranian poet Hafez. To celebrate this anniversary, IHF invites you to an evening of poetry reading and music.

Prof. Dan Wilson will give a short talk introducing Goethe’s work, which will be followed by readings of some of his poems in German, as well as some recitations of Hafez by Narguess Farzad. There will also be a performance by singer Eloise Irving, accompanied by Rod Morris on the violin.


Professor Dan Wilson

Professor Wilson’s research focuses on literature, culture and society of 18th and 19th-century Germany, with a strong interest in images of Islam in 18th-century Germany in the context of European political, military and cultural history. He has published several books on Johann Wolfgang Goethe and his work has received international acclaim.

He earned his PhD from Cornell University in 1978 before teaching at the University of Toronto and McGill University. From 1983 to 2005 he was professor of German at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was department head for four years, before moving to Royal Holloway, London, in January 2006 as Professor of German. He was Head of the new School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures until 2008. Since 2008 he has served as honorary secretary of the English Goethe Society and as co-editor of Publications of the English Goethe Society. Since 1 August 2019 he has been Professor emeritus. 

Narguess Farzad

Narguess Farzad is the Senior Lecturer in Persian Studies and a member of Academic Board at SOAS, University of London, where she convenes the degree programme in Persian. She teaches many courses on Persian language, classical and modern Persian poetry, and translation studies. She was the Academic Director of the Persian Language Foundation and currently serves on the advisory, academic, or governing councils of Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS; the Djam Scholarship Committee; Iran Heritage Foundation; and the Iran Society.


Her publications include translations of Farzaneh Khojandi’s poetry (in collaboration with the award winning English poet, Jo Shapcott), as well as works on the teaching of Persian grammar and the Poetry of Sacred Defence. She has also recently written about the challenges of translating Hafez in A New Divan, recently published to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Goethe's West-Eastern Divan. She is also a regular contributor to the art and culture programmes of BBC radios 3, 4 and the World Service.


Eloise Irving

In 1998, Eloise won BBC Choirgirl of the Year at the age of 13. This lead to numerous radio and television performances, concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, and the release of a CD with the BBC Concert Orchestra featuring her own composition. Eloise studied voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Eileen Price and was then awarded a choral scholarship at King’s College London, where she toured extensively in the UK and internationally. Following her studies at KCL, Eloise went on to study acting at Central School of Speech and Drama, and she is currently coached by Paul Farrington. She has toured worldwide with various concerts, most recently in Korea, Japan and Brazil with the Tallis Scholars, as well as a European tour with The Monteverdi Choir, and a performance with the Academy of Ancient Music in a semi-staged production of Purcell’s King Arthur in the Barbican Hall.

Tickets & Info

Tickets: £10: Book now

Free for registered Friends of IHF

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please make it payable to ‘IHF’ and send this along with your contact details to:

IHF, 63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP

The event will start promptly at 18.30 so please ensure you arrive on time

For any inquiries please contact, Tel: 020 7493 4766

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