One of the most iconic objects from the ancient world, the Cyrus Cylinder is widely considered a symbol of multiculturalism, tolerance, and human rights. Cyrus the Great, founder of the expansive Persian Achaemenid dynasty, had the Cylinder created to formally mark the establishment of Persian rule over Babylon in 539 BCE.
This year, the Cylinder began its first tour of the United States, and it will be on view at the Asian Art Museum along with a number of related objects from ancient Persia. Asia Society Northern California is pleased to partner with the Asian Art Museum on the exhibition’s opening day of August to host a panel discussion on the Cylinder’s historical context.
To honor the Cylinder’s visit to the city of San Francisco, Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian conducted The Cyrus the Great Symphonic Suite during its visit to the city. Mr. Tjeknavorian composed the first version of King Cyrus Symphonic Suite in 1972 for the 2500th anniversary celebration of the Iranian empire. It was performed in the presence of kings, queens and heads of state from across the world at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis. A few years ago, he revised and expanded the composition into a symphonic suite in three movements portraying important episodes in the life of Cyrus the Great based on the writings of Greek historians Herodotus and Xenophon.
Additional photos contributed by Deniz Hazegh: