Festival of Iraqi Culture Event: Arab Music Workshop with Naseer Shamma, Hany ElBadry, Saber AbdelSattar and Said Kamal

Sun, March 10, 2013 1:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all festival of iraqi culture events »)


As part of Eloquence: A Festival of Iraqi Culture, Alwan for the Arts is excited to offer a rare opportunity for New York-based musicians to take part in a workshop with Cairo-based Iraqi musical and cultural Icon Naseer Shamma and members of his Al-Oyoun Ensemble.

In addition to his status as a renowned performer across the Arab world, Naseer Shamma holds a distinguished place in the development of Arab music education. He is founder and director of Cairo-based Bayt Al-‘Oud, the first conservatory dedicated to mastery of the ‘oud that has since expanded to other traditional Arab musical instruments, theory, and percussion and has established branches in Alexandria, Algeria, and Abu Dhabi.

Members of the Al-Oyoun Ensemble, Hany ElBadry, Saber AbdelSattar and Said Kamal.taking part in the workshop are also of the most highly skilled and in-demand musicians and instructors in the Arab world.


The Arab Music Workshop will focus on Arab music performance, featuring instrumental sectionals to focus on maqamat (Arab modes), traditional ornamentation and style, as well as other aspects of Arab music.

The workshop is open to students of all levels; musicians who play non-traditional instruments (saxophone, trumpet, etc.) are also encouraged to attend.

The workshop faculty may be expanded to include other members of Al-Oyoun (qanun, bass, cello, percussion) based on participant interest.

Private lessons may be arranged with any of the group members for Sunday 3/10 and Monday 3/11.

Places and lesson times are limited, so register early by sending an email to with your name and instrument (please include preferred lesson time if you are interested in private lessons and with which teacher).

You can pay online by clicking here.


Sunday March 10, 2013 | 1pm-4pm

Alwan for the Arts

Admission at the door:
$150 General | $120 (Student, Member, Bring a Friend*)

Advance registration (Deadline: March 8):
$125 General | $95 (Student, Member, Bring a Friend*)

Private lesson (with a member of Al-Oyoun Ensemble):
$100: 1-hour lesson (nay, violin, qanun, bass, percussion)

Workshop + Private Lesson Package:
$200 General | $175 (Student, Member, Bring a Friend*)

*Two or more musicians who register together in advance


Naseer Shamma ('oud) is the leading exponent of the Iraqi 'oud school, and is part of a legacy that includes masters such as Jamil and Munir Bashir. Born in 1963 in al-Kut, in Southern Iraq, Shamma studied at the Baghdad Academy of Music, where he obtained a diploma in Musical Art in 1987. His reputation is built upon a profound knowledge of classical ‘oud traditions and repertoires, astounding virtuosity, technical and musical innovation. In addition, he is a composer in his own right. Shamma has served as a mentor for the next generation of musicians in the Arab world since establishing Bayt Al-'Oud in Cairo in 1998, the first conservatory dedicated to mastery of the ‘oud. Bayt Al-'Oud has branches in Alexandria, Algeria, and Abu Dhabi and has expanded to include training on other traditional Arab instruments such as qanun, violin, nay, and percussion. Al-Oyoun, founded by Shamma in 1999, is an eight-member chamber ensemble consisting of some of the most highly skilled and in-demand musicians in Cairo. Al-Oyoun performs a genre defined by Shamma as Arab Chamber music, a conceptual expansion of the style of the classical Arab takht, the representative musical ensemble of the Middle East.

Hany ElBadry (nay) was born in Kuwait in 1976. After high school, he moved to Egypt, where he continued his studies at the College of Commerce for one year. During that time, he joined the college orchestra and played the ney (Egyptian flute) with the orchestra. He consequently changed the course of his academic study, transferring to the College of Music in Zamalik, Cairo, in 1994. There he studied ney under the instruction of ney maestro Dr. Qadiri Surour. ElBadry expanded his studies to include all wind instruments, including the flute, clarinet and trumpet. His style and music has been highly influenced by the flutist James Galloway. He has performed with many musicians and musical groups at a national, regional and international level, including musicians Mohamad Tharoub, Mohammad al-‘Azby, Sabah Fakhri, and the following ensembles: Mohammad Abdel Wahhab Arab Music Group, the Egyptian Airlines Musical Group, the Turath Arab Music Group, Rida Popular Arts Group and Iftikasat, amongst many others. While studying, he met Iraqi artist and ‘oud player, Naseer Shamma, and joined the ‘Oyoun group and has been playing with this group ever since. He graduated in 1999 with honors and a specialization in the ney.

Saber AbdelSattar (qanun) was born in Beheira, Egypt, in 1973, and received a bachelor’s degree with honors from the Higher Conservatory for Arabic Music and Arts Academy in 1995, with honors in qanoun (zither) performance. He earned his master’s degree in music, also with honors, and is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the qanoun. He recorded his first CD with a Spanish producer in 2011. From 1995 until 1998, he taught at the Higher Conservatory for Arabic Music and Arts Academy. He has performed with many musical groups while continuing his studies, and was the qanoun player for the Umm Kalthoum Group. He competed with musician Medhat ‘Assem in a competition affiliated with the Egyptian Higher Council for Culture and Arts, in which he won second prize. He has been the principle qanoun player for the official Egyptian Radio station since 1998, and taught qanoun to local and international students for a semester at the Egyptian Opera House in 2001. He was an instructor and head of the qanoun department at the Arabic ‘Oud Society from 2005 until 2011. He has composed many contemporary musical works and has performed at festivals and other venues, nationally, regionally and internationally as a soloist and with various musical groups. Amongst many recordings, he has recorded his own contemporary compositions of classical muwashahat with the Swiss Cultural Institute in a CD entitled “Thakira” (“Memory”) and is currently writing a book on the contemporary challenges that qanoun players face.

Said Kamal (violin) was born in 1976 in Giza, Egypt. He grew up in an artistic family and began to study music and singing at the age of four. He continued on this path at the Higher Conservatory for Arabic Music in 1991, specializing in the violin. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and honors in 1998 and received a diploma in higher studies with honors in music in 2000 from the same institute. In 2012, he received a master’s of arts, also from the Higher Conservatory. He has been a violin instructor at the conservatory since 2001. He has since become renowned as a violin soloist, inside and outside Egypt, and has performed in many musical concerts and festivals across the Arab world. He has also become one of the more famed musicians and lyricists involved in various Arab vocal and musical works. He established the “Sir Orchestra” with the artist Naseer Shamma, which has performed at many musical venues, notably the Abu Dhabi Classical Music Festival, where he was introduced as the head of the Orchestra. Kamal has led several other musical groups accompanying famous singers inside and outside Egypt, and has performed with Naseer Shamma as a solo violinist since 1998.

Other Oyoun Member Bios

Born in 1971, Amro Mostafa Sadik (riqq, percussion) has participated in several international festivals as a solo musician or as a musician as part of a group. He took part in the Conference of Arab Music in Egypt for five consecutive years (2000 - 2004) and performed at the Carthage Festival, the Jordanian Jerash Festival, the Silk Road Festival in Syria, the Winter Music Festival in Kuwait and the City Festivals in Tunisia in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. In addition to these festivals, he has toured in many Arab countries. He is a member of the Hafni Musical Group, and has played with the Iraqi artist, Naseer Shamma and the Lebanese artist, Mahmoud al-Turkmani. He has toured with both of these artists in several Arab and Western countries including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Oman, Italy, the United States of America, France and Switzerland.

Hussein ElGhandour (violin) was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1975. He studied violin at the Music Conservatory in Egypt and has been performing at the Egyptian Opera House since 1996 with the Opera’s philharmonic orchestra with Maestro Mustafa Naji. He has performed as a violinist with Salim Sahhab’s musical group since 2000, and has been a performing member of the ‘Oyoun musical group since it was founded. He has toured with ‘Oyoun to numerous international festivals. In addition to performing on the violin, he is a proficient lyricist and composer.

Mahmoud Bedir (cello) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1978, and attained a master’s degree in the arts from the Higher Conservatory for Arabic Music and Arts Academy with honors. He has performed with the Egyptian National Philharmonic Orchestra under the Maestro Salim Sahhab and has been a member of the ‘Oyoun musical group, under Maestro Naseer Shamma. He has performed with many highly acclaimed Egyptian and Arab musicians and groups in festivals across the Arab world and on the international level. He performed with ‘Oyoun at the opening of the Arab Summit in Baghdad in 2011 and has represented Egypt in many international and European music competitions and festivals.

Last updated: 2013-03-04 03:53:40

Naseer Shamma ('oud)
Naseer Shamma ('oud)
Said Kamal (violin)
Said Kamal (violin)
Saber AbdelSattar (qanun)
Saber AbdelSattar (qanun)
Hany ElBadry (nay)
Hany ElBadry (nay)

Alwan for the Arts

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

Alwan Auction 2016

Join Our Mailing List:



Classes are currently being scheduled. Please check back soon for updates.



There are currently no upcoming events.


16 Beaver Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732 3261
Email Us

Alwan for the Arts is accessible to people with disabilities. Please call 646 732 3261 in advance, or, buzz at the door to arrange a ramp.

© 2020 Alwan for the Arts

Hosting donated by:, the Arabic Encyclopedia