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Ali Osman Alhaj, Egypt-based Sudanese conductor, composer dies

Ali Osman Alhaj was the conductor of Al-Nour Wal Amal orchestra for visually impaired and blind women

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 Feb 2017
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Ali Osman Alhaj (Photo: Ali Osman Alhaj's Facebook page)
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Ali Osman Alhaj, Sudanese contemporary classical music composer and the conductor of Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) Orchestra has died, the orchestra has revealed.

Alhaj was based in Egypt since he came from Sudan to attended the Cairo Conservatory in 1978. He served as conductor of Cairo’s Al-Nour Wal Amal Orchestra for blind girls since 2001.

He returned to the conservatory as a lecturer of music composition, theory, analysis, counterpoint, and harmony in 2002.

As a researcher, his specialty was music from Sudan. He held a Master’s degree and a PhD on the subject of "Arabic Rhythmic Patterns and their Role in Constructing Melody in Traditional Arabic Music."

Alhaj also lectured at the Academy of Arts in Egypt in 1990, and at The High Institute of Arabic Music till 2014.

From 2006 to 2008 he was artistic director of the Cairo Opera House Library.

Among his honours are Third Prize in the competition Abu Bakr Khairat of the Ministry of Culture in Cairo (1995, for Song for Chamber Orchestra) and a scholarship from the organisation Pro Helvetia (2000). His music has been performed in Austria, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

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