Egyptian composer and violinist Michel El-Masry dies at 85

Ahram Online , Sunday 1 Jul 2018

El-Masry’s music served as the soundtrack for Egyptian television shows and he played on stage with Arab music icons Omm Kalthoum and Fayrouz

el masry
Composer and violinist Michel El-Masry (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic site)

Egyptian violinist Michel El-Masry died last night at the age of 85 after a long struggle with illness.

The wake was held today at El-Marashly Church in Zamalek at 6pm.

El-Masry, who was born in 1933 in Cairo, is best known for composing the popular and memorable soundtracks for the television series Layaly El-Helmeya and Aelat El-Hag Metwally.

Although El-Masry's merchant father loved music, he was against his son pursuing a career as a musician.

Despite this, El-Masry studied art and music, and joined the Leonardo da Vinci Art Institute in Cairo after graduating from high school in 1948. The following year he joined the Fouad El-Awal Institute for Arabic Music.

As a violinist, El-Masry shared the stage with Omm Kalthoum in her last few concerts, playing songs that included Leilet Hob, Ya Mesaharny, Men Agl Eineik, and Aghadan Alqak.

El-Masry was a member of the El-Masa Music band as first violin, and also played with Lebanese singer Fayrouz.

He made the musical arrangement for Abdelwahab’s trio of songs for Warda to perform; Be Omry Kollo Habeitak, We Andah Aleik, and We Fi Yom We Leila.

El-Masry also composed soundtracks for over 10 films and 27 television series, and has performed in around 100 soundtracks for television series.

He was also the first Christian to compose music for an Islamic television series; Tasabeeh Shahr Ramadan El-Moazam.

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