Egyptian oud player, composer Mustafa Said among nominees at Aga Khan Music Awards

Ati Metwaly , Thursday 28 Mar 2019

Mustafa Said is the only Egyptian musician among the 14 nominees at the inaugural Aga Khan Music Award

Mustafa Said
Oud player and composer Mustafa Said (Photo: courtesy of Aga Khan Music Awards)

Egyptian oud player, singer, composer, musicologist, and music teacher Mustafa Said is among the 14 nominees for the performance category at the inaugural edition of the Aga Khan Music Awards.

The final winner will be announced on 30 March during the celebration to be held in Lisbon, Portugal.

Said studied oud at the Arabic Oud House in Cairo, and learned Western music at the Haldey School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In parallel, he earned a degree in linguistics and English literature from Ain Shams University and two M.A. degrees in musicology from the High Institute of Music of Antonine University in Lebanon.

The Aga Khan brochure also reveals that Said has recorded several albums and participated in international music festivals as a soloist and a member of the Asil Ensemble for Contemporary Classical Arabic Music, which he founded in 2003.

He has published academic articles and given lectures on a range of topics in Middle Eastern art and Arabic music, and has collected more than 500 early Egyptian and Arab songs.

He served as Artistic and Archives Manager of the Arab Music Archiving and Research Foundation in Lebanon from 2008 to 2010, and has been its director since 2010. In addition to over a decade of experience as a teacher of oud, singing, and the art of maqām, Said has taught workshops and given guest lectures at numerous academic and artistic institutions in Egypt, the Middle East, Europe, and Japan.

As a composer, he has written several musical compositions for the Asil Ensemble, theatre plays, dance performances and films.

In it's inaugural edition this year, several of the Aga Khan Music Awards' winners of a number of other categories -- Music Creation; Education; Social Inclusion; Preservation, Revitalisation, Dissemination award; Distinguished and Enduring Contributions to Music award -- were announced last week and will be all honoured during the ceremony in Lisbon.

The Aga Khan Music Awards were established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 2018 and aim to "recognise exceptional creativity, promise, and enterprise in music performance, creation, education, preservation and revitalisation in societies across the world in which Muslims have a significant presence," reveals the Aga Khan Music Awards brochure.

Moreover, besides recognising and supporting exceptional talent, the Awards aim to strengthen tolerance and pluralism around the world by promoting musical genres and styles that embody music’s traditional role as a source of spiritual enlightenment, moral inspiration, and social cohesion.

“Our work over the last 16 years has provided a glimpse of the extraordinary musical talent around the world that has been shaped by Muslim cultural heritage. The Music Awards will give us the opportunity not only to seek out that talent, but to support it in a concrete and tangible way,” explains Fairouz Nishanova, director of the Aga Khan Music Awards.

“The Music Awards aim to illuminate the diverse forms in which Muslim musical heritage is expressed in the contemporary world by assisting the career development of individual artists as well as the development of educational and cultural organisations working to preserve and further develop this heritage,” clarifies Theodore Levin, Aga Khan Music Awards senior consultant.

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