Abu Dhabi Fest Celebrates The Oud!

The 18th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival, held under the theme “The Future Starts Now,” is set to launch its Global Oud Forum (GOF) 2021, a virtual event that will feature musicians across the world performing special compositions to celebrate the stringed Middle Eastern instrument. 

Consisting of seven TV-format episodes, the event will feature 27 oud musicians from 14 countries performing compositions written specifically for the instrument.

Held until June 15, GOF will share insights from academics and experts in the fields of music and art about the history and development of the ancient oud, and how the instrument is being integrated into today’s digital music industry.

The forum will also stream interviews with six well-known oud makers from across the Arab world, while visiting their workshops for a glimpse of the secrets of their craft.

The event is a collaboration with Iraqi oud legend Naseer Shamma.

According to a released statement, the musician said: “In this edition, the festival is reinventing itself to communicate its vision in the arts and music industry despite the impact of COVID-19, which has affected us all.

“The Global Oud Forum combines a wide array of creative individuals to present their visions, ideas, music and innovations in the world of the Oud, a unique attempt to bring together musicians, Oud makers, researchers and critics, all in one place,” he added.

A world-renowned maestro, Shamma is a distinguished oud player who has received more than 60 awards and accolades and released albums in Italy, Egypt, Algeria and the United Kingdom with more than 60 compositions.

Shamma is also the UNESCO Artist for Peace and Goodwill Ambassador to the International Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies.

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