Egyptian composer Zakaria Ahmed (Photo: Al-Ahram)
This month, Egypt celebrates the birthday of renowned Egyptian music composer, Zakaria Ahmed (1898-1961) throughout the month of January in various cultural venues.
The Sheikh of Composers as he was often referred to, is a pillar of authentic oriental music. He is one of the pioneers whose music flourished in the Arabic music scene from the early 20th century to date. Ahmed composed 1,070 melodies, 56 operettas and 191 soundtracks to Egyptian films. Moreover he was the one who discovered the iconic singer, Om Kalthoum, and together with the great poet Beiram El-Tounsi they created the golden triangle that enriched the Egyptian and Arabic music scene with enchanting tunes and songs that live to this day.
The Cultural Development Fund (CDF), under the umbrella of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture dedicates several cultural activities to the great Zakaria Ahmed.
Saturday, 5 January, 1pm: Om Kalthoum museum, music analyst and critic Nahla Matar reviews Ahmed's masterpieces Howa Dah Yekhalas men Alla created in 1931
Sunday, 6 January, 7pm: Om Kalthoum museum hosts an evening titled memories of Zakaria Ahmed conducted by cinema critic Mohamed Abdel Fattah and music critic Mostafa Said
Sunday 6 January, 7pm: Al Ghoury Palace hosts a music/song evening performed by Mahmoud Darwish and the group
Friday 11 January, 7pm: Al Amir Bashtak Palace (AKA House of Arabic Singing) hosts a concert performed by opera lead singer in oriental music Mohsen Farouk as well as numerous opera singers.
Saturday 12 January, 1 pm: Om Kalthoum Museum hosts a seminar on Zakaria Ahmed's technique in composing Om Kalthoum songs by music composer Ahmed El-Henawy
Saturday 19 January, 1pm: Om Kalthoum Museum hosts a seminar titled The Music of Zakaria Ahmed, by professor of oriental music Haytham Nabil
Saturday 26 January, 1pm: Om Kalthoum Museum hosts a seminar titled El Ward Gamil, by music analyst and critic Nahla Matar