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Ammar El Sherei
with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra Concert

The concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat was a meeting and fusion of two musical traditions featuring both Arabic and western instruments.

25. January 2012
Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman

The Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra performed pieces by famous Egyptian composer and instrumentalist Ammar El Sherei, under the baton of Egyptian conductor Hisham Gabr and Omani Oud soloist Salim Al-Maqrashi. The program also included Teskoto by Gligor Smokvarski, a piece which reflects the Macedonian folklore idiom in music for a symphonic orchestra.

The Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra was established in 1944 and after nearly seven decades remains the only symphonic orchestra in the country. The orchestra has been a staple advocate of music in Macedonia and an ambassador to the world for Macedonian music.

Ammar El Sherei is known as a major icon in the Arabic music world. He learned to play both piano and accordion before learning the Oud and becoming one of the undisputed masters of the classical Arabic instrument. While Ammar El Sherei belongs to the authentic oriental school of music, he is also famous for successfully blending traditional Arabic and western orchestral themes. He started composing in 1975 and has written music for more than 50 movies and 120 television series while helping nurturing and developing aspiring talents from Egypt. His long association with the Sultanate began in the early 1990’s when he was invited by the Government of Oman to compose music to celebrate the National Day in 1993 and again in 2010. For this work and his outstanding contribution to music in the country he was honored by receiving the Honorary Medal of the First Decree from His Majesty the Sultan.

Omani musician Salim Al Maqrashi started to play Oud aged just 11 by listening to Abd al Wahhab tapes and Umm Kulthum songs and has never looked back. He joined the Sultanate’s First Band for Music and Popular Arts as a choir vocalist in 1998 while continuing to play Oud and won a scholarship to study in Cairo in 2004 and 2005. Since then he has participated in several musical festivals in Oman and Dubai as well as composing for festivals staged in the Sultanate, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.

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