Egyptian Culture Minister Ines Abdel Dayem has announced that the 29th edition of the annual Arab Music Festival and Conference will take place from 1 to 10 November.
Coming this year at its normal time, the festival will include 28 concerts on the open-air stages of the Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhour opera houses.
During the opening ceremony, the culture minister will honour 12 personalities who have contributed to the enrichment of the artistic life in Egypt and the Arab world, including poet Bakhit Bayoumi, flautist Mohamed Abdel Nabi, violinist Mahmoud Othman, composer Yahya Mahdi, and singers Maher Al-Attar, Mona Abdel-Ghani and Alaa Abdel Khaleq, among others.
This year 93 musicians will participate in the festival, 82 of them singers, from five countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Tunisia.
The concerts will feature seven orchestras operating under the Cairo Opera House's wings, as well as independent ensembles.
They include the Arabic Heritage Music Ensemble, the Cairo Steps Ensemble, the Cairo Opera Orchestra, the Sound of Egypt Orchestra, the El Hefny Ensemble, the Alexandria Opera Ensemble for Arabic Music and Singing, and the Arabic National Music Ensemble.
Among the singers set to take the stages are Egyptians Nadia Mustafa, Sarah Sahab, Ahmed Ibrahim, Soma, Iman Abdelghani, Ahmed Effat, Mai Hassan, Yasser Suleiman, Medhat Saleh, Ahmed Mohsen, Mohi Salah, Hanan Al-Khouly, Angham Mustafa, Hany Shaker, Ahmed Nafeh and Ibrahim Farouk, as well as Saber Al Rabaei from Tunisia, Saad Ramadan from Lebanon and Humam Ibrahim from Iraq, to name but a few.
The festival will also hold a series of conferences on the theme of “The Future of Arab Music - Beyond the Crisis” and focusing on the way forward after the COVID-19 pandemic. The meetings will discuss future visions of Arabic musical creativity and Arabic music performances, the future prospects of teaching Arabic music, and questions related to Arabic musical heritage.
Following the previous years' practice, the Ratiba El-Hefny Arab Music and Singing Competition will invite children and young people to showcase their singing skills. The cello competition will focus on students with special abilities.
An exhibition of Arabic calligraphy by Mustafa Omar at the Salah Taher Hall (Cairo Opera House) will add a visual aspect to the festival.
The festival will be held under the patronage of the culture minister and the Cairo Opera House, and is headed by Magdy Saber. The events will be managed by Jihan Morsi.
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