Egyptian violinist Ashraf Heikal passed away in the early hours of Wednesday after a sudden health crisis, the Musicians Syndicate revealed.
Heikal graduated from the Cairo Conservatory's string department in the early 1990s and continued with his postgraduate studies at the Arabic Music Institute, where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees. Both institutions are part of Cairo's Academy of Arts.
It was at the Arabic Music Institute that he later taught and performed alongside numerous prominent Arabic music ensembles on renowned stages, including the Cairo Opera House.
Among his many commitments, he worked with the Oriental Takht ensemble and with the renowned musician Omar Khairat.
Until recently, he has also served as dean of the Arab Music Institute.
Egypt's cultural scene expressed its condolences to Heikal's family and all artists working at the Academy of Arts.
Culture minister Ines Abdel Dayem underscored Heikal's achievements as a professor who, with his high professionalism and unique kindness, directed hundreds of students in the field of music.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture