Monday,27 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1437, (4 - 10 April 2019)
Monday,27 May, 2019
Issue 1437, (4 - 10 April 2019)

Ahram Weekly

Victorious oud

photo: Bruno Colaço
photo: Bruno Colaço

Egyptian oud player, composer and music educator Mustafa Said was announced winner of the inaugural Aga Khan Music Award in Performance this week, reports Ati Metwaly from Portugal. Said was the only Egyptian among 14 musicians from Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, Lebanon, India and other countries in Asia and North Africa.

The award ceremony was held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, preceded by two days of activities related to the launch of Aga Khan Music Awards, the first being a gala reception and the second focusing on concerts staged by all the finalists.

Visually-impaired, Said studied oud at the Arabic Oud House in Cairo, and learned Western music at the Haldey School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He also earned a degree in linguistics and English literature from Ain Shams University and two M.A. degrees in musicology from the High Institute of Music at Antonine University in Lebanon.

The Aga Khan brochure also reveals that Said has recorded several albums and participated in international music festivals as a soloist and a member of the Asil Ensemble for Contemporary Classical Arabic Music, which he founded in 2003.

He has published academic articles and given lectures on a range of topics in Middle Eastern art and Arabic music, and has collected more than 500 early Egyptian and Arab songs.

He served as Artistic and Archives Manager of the Arab Music Archiving and Research Foundation in Lebanon from 2008 to 2010, and has been its director since 2010. In addition to over a decade of experience as a teacher of oud, singing, and the art of maqām, Said has taught workshops and given guest lectures at numerous academic and artistic institutions in Egypt, the Middle East, Europe, and Japan.

The Aga Khan Music Awards were established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 2018 and aim to “recognise exceptional creativity, promise, and enterprise in music performance, creation, education, preservation and revitalisation in societies across the world in which Muslims have a significant presence,” reveals the Aga Khan Music Awards brochure. The awards cover a few categories. Apart from the award for performance, the Aga Khan also rewarded a number of figures in four other categories: music creation; education; social inclusion; preservation, revitalisation and dissemination; and distinguished and enduring contributions to music.

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