The 24th Arab Music Festival and Conference is set to start on Sunday 1 of November. Over nine days, from 1 to 9 November 2015, the Egyptian Opera House theatres in Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur will be hosting 23 concerts, featuring 61 singers and musicians from Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Palestine. This round of the festival is dedicated to late poet Abdel Rahman al-Abnoudi (1938 – 2015), for his exceptional contributions to the festival’s successive rounds. The opening concert will be a tribute to him.
Ines Abdel-Dayem, head of the Cairo Opera House, said that the opening concert will include the singing tableau Ehki Ya Khal (Tell O Uncle) —khal, literally uncle, is a title commonly used in Upper Egypt to fondly denote an older, wiser, man—which tells of the life of Abnoudi and his works which greatly influenced literature in Egypt and the Arab World.
Dr Dayem declared that 16 figures will be honoured during the festival this year; these figures include the name of Abdel Rahman al-Abnoudi, Samira Saeed from Morocco, Sadoon Gaber from Iraq, Fahmy Omar, musician Salah al-Sharnoobi, poet Gamal Bekhit, musician Nabil Azzam from Palestine, flautist Ali al-Hefny, music scholar Naeema Sadeq, qanun player Maha al-Araby, violin player Mohamed Nasr, artist Mustafa Ahmed, violin player and singer Ahmed Abdallah and Arabic calligrapher Mustafa Abdel-Rehim.
Dr Dayem invited and welcomed researchers and those interested in music and singing, as well as in music students and scholars to attend the conference which will be held in parallel with the festival and which will tackle several musical issues through 35 researches from all over the Arab world.
Gihan Morsi, the festival and conference manager, was happy to say that the Arab Music Festival has been developing beautifully over the years; she praised the late Ratiba al-Hefny founder of the festival.
Thirteen bands will be participating in the festival which are: the celebrating orchestra by Maestro Mustafa Helmy (Egypt), Religious Song Ensemble by Maestro Alaa’ Abdel Salam (Egypt), Abdel Halim Nweira for Arab Music by Maestro Salah Ghobashi (Egypt), music band (orchestra) by Hani Faraht (Egypt), Forat Qaduri musical group (Iraq), Sudasi Sharara orchestra by Dr Hassan Sharara (Egypt), heritage orchestra for Arab music by Maestro Mohamed al-Mogy (Egypt), choir of opera children (Egypt), the musical band by Maestro Ahmed Amer (Egypt), national Arab orchestra for music by Maestro Hazem al-Qasabqy (Egypt), Alexandria Opera Ensemble for Music and Arab Singing by Maestro Abdel Hamid Abdel Ghafaar (Egypt), al-Hefny ensemble by Maestro Hisham al-Guindy (Egypt) and Cairo Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Nayer Nagui (Egypt).
The programme includes two exhibitions of Arabic calligraphy. One will be held at Salah Taher Hall for Fine arts and shows the works of Mustafa Abdel-Rehim; the other one at Ziad Bakeer Hall for Fine Arts and shows the works of Hassan Hassouba.
There will also be two competitions, one for youth from 17 to 35 years old on old and contemporary Arab singing. The competitor selects an old song and another new one and he can be accompanied by a lute player provided by the festival management if he or she wishes. The other is competition is for children.
30 October 2015