For the opening of the Cultural Foundation, the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Bait Al Oud Abu Dhabi with a live concert performed by the talented graduates of Bait Al Oud and its distinguished instructors: Bassam Abdelsatar, Sherin Tohami, Dr Fathalla Ahmed, Ahmed Taha, Ali Duraidi and Faisal Al Saari Bait Al Oud artistic director, oud legend Naseer Shamma, will also join the performance.
Continuing Bait Al Oud’s tradition of celebrating the history of Arabic music, in this part this instrumental live concert programme will bring together elements from Emirati traditional music adapted to today’s life. It will also showcase the wide range of instruments taught at the school including the oud, violin, qanun, vocal and cello.
In the second part of the evening, the musicians will play classical Arabic compositions. This programme will also mark the world premiere of the Bait Al Oud Abu Dhabi musicians, the first professional classical Arabic orchestra created by the school and destined to play both regionally and internationally to preserve the splendour of Arabic classical music.
• Mural of Life, Chorus, (Naseer Shamma)
• Oud quartet:
- Tango (Naseer Shamma)
- Ishraq (Naseer Shamma)
• Solo Spirit of Tolerance – (Faisal Al Sari)
• Qanun section:
- Olympia Music (Naseer Shamma)
- Oriental Legacy
• Oud section:
- Tico Tico (Zequinha de Abreu)
- Medley from Legacy
• Vocals section:
- Nebal Kareem, Taqtuqa (ya Fayetni) (composed by Sayyed Darwish)
- Nejma AlKoor, First composition of Hazihi Laylati by (Oum Kalthoum)
- Fatima Al Hashimi, Aylol (composed by Naseer Shamma, arranged by Dr Fathalla Ahmed)
• Bright Path, Chorus (Naseer Shamma)
• Maestro Naseer Shamma
• Oud quartet:
- Mazen Al Baker
- Mohammad Saeed
- Faten Kana'n
- Eyad Al Khalidy
• Oud solo:
- Faisal Al Saari
- Professor Bassam Abdel Satar
- Noura Al Mazroui (Solo)
- Omar Bawazeer
- Ahmed Hussein Al Sheikh
- Hana Boukris
- Yasmina Mansour
- Mariam Ammar
- Omar Zyad
- Eman Allam
• Oud section:
- Professor Sherin Tohami
- Ahmed Al Mansoury
- Abdullah Al Rumaithy
- Lucas George
- Samer Al Kordy
- Sherief Galal
- Tawfeek Mazen
- Yamen Al Awar
- Galal Kassam
• Vocals section:
- Dr Fathalla Ahmed
- Nebal Kareem
- Nejma AlKoor
- Fatima Al Hashimy
• Participating musicians:
- Professor Ahmed Taha (Oudlo)
- Professor Ali Al Duraidy (Oudlin)
- Osama Ismail (Oud bass)
- Khaled Abou Hijazy (percussion)
Naseer Shamma is an Iraqi artist and a distinguished oud player, born in 1963, in Kut, Iraq. His graduation in 1987 from the Institute of Music Studies in Baghdad was the start of a long array of achievements in his musical career, specifically with the oud instrument. Shamma has received more than 60 awards, starting with Best Emotional Melody in Iraq in his graduation year. He obtained the honours of the Iraqi Artists Syndicate for three consecutive years, from 1988-1990; Best Artist in Iraq in 1994; the Royal British Academy Award in 1998; and the Rotterdam Arab Festival Award, among his accolades.
From the mid to late 1980s, Shamma exported his musical culture to Europe, with memorable performances including the Armani Theatre in Paris. Concerts in Germany, Switzerland, London and other countries soon established him as a leading maestro on the international music scene and he earned a reputation as the world’s most popular oud master. He released albums in Italy, Egypt, Algeria and the UK, and created more than 60 compositions that translated his musical vision.
Shamma launched Bait Al Oud in Cairo in 1998, from where he taught oud students to an expert level, sharing his techniques and additions to the instrument. Bait Al Oud started to include other instruments such as the saz, the ney and the qanun, as well as oriental percussions. Bait Al Oud was established in Abu Dhabi in 2008,vin Alexandria in 2011, and in Baghdad in 2018. Shamma continues to oversee all the institutions, and graduates of the schools gain the opportunity to perform with Shamma around the world as part of the Bait Al Oud Orchestra. This has not only set new standard for Arab orchestras but has managed to bring to western audiences Arab musical culture on an academic level.
Shamma has taken a great interest in group and orchestral music, with dozens of performances alongside prominent
ensembles such as the Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal, the Lebanese Oriental Orchestra and the Global Ensemble, which he founded and which brings together leading western artists. He has also performed alongside jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis. Shamma also established the Eastern Orchestra which consists of more than 75 artists from Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe. These orchestras have played across the continents.
Throughout Shamma’s career, he has prioritised his humanitarian contribution towards peace in the world. Projects such as Tareeq Al Zuhoor Charity (TAZC), which cares for vulnerable children in India; and the Ahluna Foundation, which has supported more than three million refugees, are among the bigger projects that are ongoing.
Shamma is also engaged in the Alaq Baghdad project, which aims to rebuild 21 main places in the capital of Iraq and to rehabilitate the high streets, are all part of his efforts to bring life and investments back to his home country. He has always tried to use music to raise funds for his humanitarian vision and has a long list of vetted projects.
Shamma has been credited for his humanitarian work with awards such as the 2012 International Gusi Peace Prize. He has also served as Ambassador of the Iraqi Red Crescent; Ambassador of the International Non-Violence Association; and continues to serve as the UNESCO Artist for Peace and the Goodwill Ambassador to the International Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies (IFRC).
Bait Al Oud
Bait Al Oud - Abu Dhabi is one of the leading music academies in the region. Established in 2008, it is operated by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi. The school is dedicated to the preservation of the songs and techniques associated with the oud, and other important instruments in the UAE such as the qanun, cello, violin and rebabah. It offers music lessons in these instruments and in Arabic singing, and runs courses with certificates.
Bait Al Oud’s goal is to fortify Abu Dhabi’s stature as a regional centre for Arab musicians, and to develop the talents of Emirati youth in playing traditional Arabic instruments. It aims to set the educational and artistic levels for solo musicians to high international standards in musical techniques and scientific knowledge, lifting students to new musical heights. Students at Bait Al Oud face the audience ready to perform compositions which cover all their education and expertise.
As a centre of teaching and research, Bait Al Oud preserves traditional Arab musical heritage and also nurtures a new generation of professional classical players in the UAE. Its emphasis on the oud has also led its staff and musicians to focus on the history and repertoire of the instrument. The centre also crafts ouds by hand in its workshop and conducts outreach programmes to spread awareness and appreciation of the oud and other Arabic musical instruments. It has recently launched a project dedicated to the influence of the oud: innovative instruments based on the oud have been built and these will appear in tonight’s concert.