Updated: Feb 1
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dhahran is set to host Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma on December 20 to 22.
For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Shamma will lead the 35-member "Oud Orchestra" in three concerts composed by him at the "Ithra" theater.
Shamma said: "Oud is not only a musical instrument. It represents a great cultural heritage, and the concerts that I will lead in Saudi Arabia are more than just musical performance. They are a cultural journey extending from the past to the present."
He described playing in Saudi Arabia for the first time is a great achievement.
"I look forward to share my music passion with the audience at the Ithra theater. This musical program is a life… a revived soul… and a world that interacts with music to please the audience and me."
Shamma established the first Arab Oud House in both Cairo and Abu Dhabi.
He studied the instrument and developed it, creating an oud with eight strings, inspired by Al-Farabi's manuscripts on music and the Arabic instrument.
He also created methods to help children and people with special needs play oud and enjoy it with one hand.
He holds many titles like the Ambassador of the East from the German Ministry of Cultural, and received the Artistic Excellence Award from the Arab Thought Foundation.
He established many projects, such as the "Eastern Orchestra," which gathered more than 75 musicians from the Far and the Near East, and "Our Motherland", aimed at supporting peace.
Shamma performed in various world-renowned venues such as the Olympia Theater in Paris, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and in large cities like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in in the Middle East.
He was also appointed as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
Source: Asharq Al-Awsat