Establishing His Legacy
Naseer Shamma, an Iraqi musician and renowned Oud player, was born in 1963 in Kut, Iraq, graduated from the Institute of Music Studies in Baghdad in 1987, and has since attained a PhD in Musical Philosophy.
Shamma's illustrious career has been adorned with over 70 international awards. It commenced with the "Best Emotional Melody in Iraq" accolade in his graduation year and ascended to the honours of the Iraqi Artist Syndicate for three consecutive years spanning from 1988 to 1990. Other noteworthy achievements include the titles of "Best Artist in Iraq" in 1994, the prestigious Royal British Academy Award in 1998, the distinguished Rotterdam Arab Festival Award, and a multitude of other esteemed recognitions.
Harmonising Cultures Across Borders
In the mid to late 1980s, Shamma embarked on a journey to introduce his musical heritage to Europe, delivering mesmerizing performances in iconic cities such as Paris. This inaugural exploration paved the way for subsequent concerts in eminent cultural hubs including Germany, Switzerland, and London. Through these endeavours and more, Shamma established himself as a preeminent maestro on the global music stage and, ultimately, as a revered Oud virtuoso. His pioneering albums were embraced across Italy, the UK, Egypt, and Algeria, unveiling a tapestry of over 120 compositions that eloquently convey his musical vision.
Continuing his artistic evolution, Shamma founded "The Arab Oud House" in 1999, inaugurating its flagship establishment in Cairo. Through this institution, he meticulously nurtured Oud students to attain expert proficiency, generously imparting his techniques and innovations to elevate the instrument's prowess. The Arab Oud House's influence expanded to Abu Dhabi in 2008, Alexandria in 2011, Baghdad in 2018, and most recently, Khartoum, Riyadh, and Mosul. Shamma remains a guiding force, orchestrating their development. Graduates of the Arab Oud House are privileged to perform alongside Shamma in concerts worldwide, as integral members of the Arab Oud House Orchestra. This ensemble not only sets a new benchmark for the Arab Orchestra but also bridges cultural divides, introducing the richness of Arab musical traditions to global audiences on an academic platform.
Humanity Through Harmony
Beyond his artistic exploits, Shamma's profound humanitarian ethos underscores his commitment to global harmony. Initiatives such as T.A.Z.C., providing aid to vulnerable children by sponsoring their travel for surgery and treatment in India, and the Ahluna Foundation, a stalwart supporter of over three million refugees, exemplify his compassionate endeavours. These, among many other, philanthropic pursuits are powered by music, as Shamma fervently employs his craft to raise funds for a meticulously vetted roster of humanitarian projects.
In recognition of his unwavering dedication, Shamma has been honoured with prestigious awards, including the 2012 International Gusi Peace Prize. His commitment to humanitarian work is further underscored by his roles as Ambassador of the Iraqi Red Crescent, Ambassador of the International Non-Violence Association, UNESCO Artist for Peace, and most recently, as the goodwill ambassador to the International Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies (IFRC) and Health Champion for the World Health Organization (WHO), a designation bestowed upon him in 2023.