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Chelsea Music Academy


Middle-Eastern Music Section

Arabic Voice Oud Arabic Music Theory Arabic Music Composition

Ney Arabic Percussion (riqq, frame-drum and darbouka)

Qanoun (Middle-Eastern plucked zither)

Abdullah Chhadeh

"..a generator of excitement, and a skilled manipulator of silence..."

He has re-designed this 10th century
oriental instrument by the addition of an octave, enhancing its tonal range and enabling him to challenge the qanun's traditional repertoire

His work has included adaptations from the Syrian, Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Andalusian traditions as well as more surprising interpretations well-known Western classical composers

Born and educated in Damascus, Chhadeh studied both Classical Arabic and Western music at the Conservatoire of Damascus.

After a performance in London for the Syrian Embassy, he was offered a scholarship to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music, where he refined his prodigious skill as a composer and started to introduce the qanun's distinctive sound to new settings.

His composition for qanun and chamber orchestra had its world premiere performance in 2000 in Cyprus, while his recordings and collaborations have included both solo performances and featured soloist work with Sinead O' Connor, Jocelyn Pook, Natacha Atlas and David Arnold among others. In 2001 he formed Nara, an ensemble combining the qanun with a variety of traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern instruments; an ever-evolving musical project based entirely on Chhadeh's original compositions Nara continues to inspire audiences at every performance.

Louai Alhenawi

Louai Al-Henawi is a performer, teacher and composer. He specialises in the ney (Arabic flute), Arabic percussion (dabuka, daff and riqq) and Middle Eastern music. Born in Syria in 1975, Louai studied at the eminent Damascus Conservatoire, graduating in 2001. Following his studies he spent a year as a teacher at the Conservatoire and held the prestigious role of ney soloist in the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra and the National Arabic Orchestra.

In 2002, Louai moved to the UK, where he started directing and leading Middle Eastern music workshops for all age groups and abilities.

Premier of a ney concerto. Tafahum is now working on a new show entitled ‘The road to Damascus’ which involves musicians, singers and dancers from the Arab world and the UK.

Abdul Salam Kheir

Study with the, Abdul Salam Kheir, teacher of Nawal Al-Zoghby, Mayez Al-Baya. Abdul Salam studied music at the Lebanese Conservatoire, specialising in Mouwashahat as a singer and oud player. In 2006, Abdul Salam performed for His Highness Prince Charles and Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia in the Llangollen Festival in Wales. Later that year, he released the album ‘Convivencia’ with the famous soprano Catherine Bott, lute player David Miller and percussionist Stephen Henderson. As a performer and teacher of Arab singing and oud, Abdul Salam has a longstanding association with Dartington International Summer School. As a composer, Abdul Salam has written songs for many of today’s famous Arab singers, including Sabah. He has also worked with Wadih Al-Safi and Sabah Fakhry.

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