Hossein Omoumi was born in 1944, in Isfahân, Iran, and began his musical education singing with his father. At age 14, he started studying the ney, the traditional reed flute of Iran. While studying architecture, he was accepted as a tutorial student at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Tehran, and worked with great masters Mahmud Karimi and Farhâd Fakhreddini. He then worked with the great master of ney Hassan Kassâei.
Omoumi’s performance career has included appearances at many of major festivals and concert halls in Europe and the United States, including San Francisco’s World Music Festival, UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall and Wadsworth Theater, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the World Music Institute and Asia Society in New York, and Theatre de la Ville in Paris.
He is a noted scholar and teacher of Persian music, having served on the National Conservatory, Tehran University, Center for Conservation and Diffusion of Music (Iran National Television) in Tehran, Center for Oriental Music Studies (CEMO) of Sorbonne University in Paris, the Ethnomusicology departments of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. He is now Maseeh Professor in Persian Performing Arts of music at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He has arranged and composed 11 lessons to teach the principals of classical Persian music under the title of Pish Radif. His research on the making of the ney and Iranian percussions has opened new possibilities and introduced significant innovations to the ney, tombak and daf.
Omoumi graduated from the faculty of architecture at the National University of Iran with honors and taught there for 10 years after receiving his doctorate degree from the University of Florence, Italy, using a scholarship awarded by the Italian government.