SOLD OUT: In Concert with Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Muwashshahat from Aleppo

Sat, February 17, 2018 8:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts presents Muhammad Qadri Dalal, a leading virtuoso on oud and one of the last true masters of improvisation in Arab music.

In this performance, Muhammad Qadri Dalal will perform a solo set of oud taqasim (improvisations) followed by a set of Aleppan Muwashshahat and Qudood with Samer Ali on violin and Johnny Farraj on riq (tambourine).

Tickets: $20 General Admission|$15 Students and Seniors

Available online (Buy Now) or at the door

Doors open at 7:30pm

Aleppo has long served as the traditional center for Arab music in the Mashreq or Levant. The city is best known for having preserved and revived the performance of the muwashshah, a poetic-musical genre that originated in al-Andalus (medieval Iberia) as well as the eponymous qudud halabiyya, light and popular songs that enjoy wide appeal across the Arab world and internationally. Aleppo is also known for the art of improvisation and for a strong performance tradition that brought together artists from its many communities: Arab, Armenian, Jewish, Kurdish, Turkmen and others.

About the Artists

Muhammad Qadri Dalal (b. 1946, Aleppo) is one of the last true masters of improvisation in Arab music. Raised in the rich musical ambiance of Aleppo, Syria, Dalal from a young age was schooled in the complexities of Arab music and acquired an unparalleled mastery of its modal and rhythmic systems. He studied oud and Arab music theory with the master musician Bakri al-Kurdi, and also learned the viola, contrabass, and violin. Dalal has performed to wide acclaim as a soloist, ensemble member, and leader in Syria, across the Arab world, and around the world. He has worked with many of the leading artists in Syria, including Sabah Fakhri, Sabri Moudallal, and others.

Dalal is also skilled arranger, composer, teacher, and scholar of Arab music. His recordings include: Syria, Aleppo: Improvisations (winner of the Grand Prize of the Charles Cros Academy, 1988); and Maqamat Insolites / Rares Modes (INEDIT, 2002). Formerly the director of the Arab Conservatory and the Sabah Fakhri Conservatory in Aleppo, he is currently professor of oud, Oriental violin, and Arab music theory in Alexandria, Egypt. He resides part of the year in New Jersey, where he gives private lessons.

A native of Syria, Samer Ali is an Arab music violinist and founder of Takt Al-Nagham. He currently performs with the National Arab Orchestra. Samer began studying western classical violin at the age of eight and later pursued intensive conservatory studies with Ali Mukhtar Babayev. He co-founded the Awj Arab music ensemble in Damascus, Syria in 2007 and has performed with the Ugarit Ensemble.

Samer studied the Arab violin and classical music traditions with Ali Farran and Ziad Ajjan (students of composer and scholar Mahmoud Ajjan), Simon Shaheen and Muhammad Qadri Dalal. He has collaborated with musicians in the United States and Syria, such as Moncef Genoud, Khaleel Haj Hussein, Bassam Saba and Michel Merhej Baklouk. Samer received his M.D. from Tishreen University and is currently a resident physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. For more on the artist, please click here.

Johnny Farraj studied riq and frame drum with Karim Nagi and Michel Merhej; oud with Simon Shaheen and Bassam Saba; and classical Arab singing with Rima Kcheich and Youssef Kassab. As a percussionist, he has performed with Simon Shaheen's Qantara group and Amir Elsaffar. He also attends annually the Arabic Music Retreat at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Farraj has recorded on the soundtrack of Heather Raffo's play "9 Parts of Desire" and has collaborated in several fusion projects involving classical Indian, Persian and Jazz. He performs and lectures in universities and museums throughout the United States and Canada. Farraj is also the mastermind and creater of, an educational resource on classical Arab music theory.


Alwan for the Arts is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council of the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Last updated: 2018-02-17 13:55:56

Muhammad Qadri Dalal
Muhammad Qadri Dalal

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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