Solo violinist Mohamad Hamami and Sharq Orchestra present Essence Of Arabia, a concert focusing on tunes that captivated the hearts of Arabic music lovers and formed the basis for Arabic popular music.
These essential tunes are the fruits of collaboration between Arab singing divas and the ingenuity of Arab composers; the concert will feature the compositions of Mohamad Abdul Wahab, Baligh Hamdi, Al Sombati, the Rahbanis to modern days Marwan Khouri, as presented by Umm kalthoum, Wardah, Abdul Halim and Fairouz.
This concert targets music lovers of all ages and nationalities; it will be enjoyed by both Arabic music lovers and music lovers in general wanting an introduction to the sounds of the Middle East.
The Sharq orchestra was founded by Mohamad Hamami who leads, conducts and plays solo violin. His aim is to promote music in general and Arabic music in particular to a wider and international audience. Their essentially Arabic repertoire is played by classically trained and mainly non Arabs who, like every expatriate in Dubai, are eager to explore the regional culture.
The music is orchestral in shape, classical in technique and lively at heart. The repertoire is sure to entertain the audience.
The Sharq orchestra is composed of over 45 musicians of 22 different nationalities with a classical music background.
This concert will feature as part of Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre new project Season 09/10, a four-month arts extravaganza that will feature a host of acclaimed artists and performers from the genres of art, theatre, music, dance and film.
My name is Mohamad Hamami. I am a renowned, classically trained violinist, and addition to performing as a soloist and member of numerous ensembles, I also teach strings, compose original music, arrange and produce orchestral scores for never-before-written Arabic songs, and direct my own 80 person SharQ orchestra. I have performed at some of the top venues in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, including Qartaj in Tunisia, Opera House Egypt,
Opera House Damascus, Unisco Lebanon, Madinat Jumeirah Dubai, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, Music Festival Algeria, among others. I have also recorded my own solo album, which is sold widely in record stores in the Middle East and on iTunes. My album, In Paradise, is featured on Air Emirates flights around the world.
I began my career in music at the tender age of 8 years old. I come from a family of musicians: my grandmother was a professional Oud player and my mother was a vocalist. As a young child, my father signed me up violin lessons, and it became clear quickly that I had a natural gift for music. At that time, there was only one school (the Arabic Institute for Music) that specialized in music education to serve the whole Middle East region. It had three locations: one in Cairo, Egypt, one in Iraq, and one in Aleppo, Syria. I was one of over 2,000 young applicants who applied to study at the Arabic Institute for Music in Aleppo, Syria, and one of only 40 students admitted. At the Arabic Institute for Music, I was trained in the Western pedagogy of musical education: through written music and classical, orchestral techniques.
I excelled in my musical education, receiving top marks and earning the honor of being the top ranked student in my class. I graduated with my diploma at the age of 14. Because I attended the most prestigious music school, and because my teachers recognized me as a top student, they often recommended me to other musicians and music producers looking to contract with a violinist for performances or recordings. I had a reputation for being able to sight-read music nearly perfectly, and learn and perform written pieces with only a few minutes of practice. Starting from age 14, I worked as a freelance professional musician. I played gigs and recorded with ensembles all across the Middle East, including in Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Egypt. I was still a young child when I was hired to perform and record with the popular Lebanese group Fairouz and Majida Al Roumi Orchestra.
At age 16, I was awarded a prestigious apprenticeship with two major Russian music professors in Syria: Professor Emil Tchalbach and Professor Ali Mokhtar Babeish. Both professors taught at the Institute in Aleppo and maintained busy careers as professional musicians. They played with the Syrian Symphony Orchestra, one of the most respected and well-known orchestras in the region. Through them, I learned and perfected the art of teaching music. Following this apprenticeship, the Arabic Institute for Music hired me only two years later, when I was 18, to teach violin.
In around 1997, I began to perform and record across the Middle East and North Africa, including in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and the UAE. I performed with the Bahrain Orchestra (2005, 2008, 2009), the Bulgarian Orchestra (2009, 2010), and performing solo pieces at the Art Center Opera House in Mexico City, Mexico (2010). I also performed with the Syrian University National Orchestra, the most well established University orchestra in Syria, and the Aleppo Chamber Orchestra, one of the top orchestras in Syria.
As part of an ensemble, my work with has been featured on various albums, and in television and radio advertisements, including Rotana TV, MBC, Mazzika, Abu Dhabi TV, Dubai TV, Sama TV, Emirates News, among others.
Through my travels across the globe, I was exposed to musicians and composers from all over the world. I performed with musicians who played all genres of music, from Irish folk music, to Latin, to American Jazz, to traditional Indian music. I gleaned both how other musical cultures teach music and learn music. I also acquired technical skills pertinent to other musical genres and national cultures’ music. For example, in Japan and India, I learned alternative scales, which feature additional notes and lack other notes that western and Arabic scales feature. In Turkey, as another example, I learned a different bowing technique, native to Turkish music, which results in a different kind of articulation, rhythm, phrasing, and sound. My experiences as an international musician shaped not only my skills, but also influenced my unique sound as a performer.
In 2001, at the age of 23, I moved to Dubai, UAE and joined the Chamber Orchestra of Dubai. I played with this orchestra for several years, until around 2007. From 2008 to 2010, I played lead violin for the Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra (now known as the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra), which is the top Orchestra in the United Arab Emirates. Although my performances with the Chamber and the Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra were limited to classical Western concertos and symphonies (the way I was trained at the Arabic Institute for Music), because Dubai tends to be a very international city, I also had many more opportunities to work with musicians from around the world. I continued to perform and learn about the cultures and musical traditions of my fellow musicians.
In 2007, I began playing performances as a soloist. I performed concerts as well as corporate events in various venues across the UAE, and the Gulf area, including concert halls, art galleries, and exhibitions.
While I rehearsed and performed with various chambers and orchestras, I continued to teach violin in the UAE. I taught at various music schools and private schools, including: the Popular Music Institute; the Centre for Musical Arts; King’s School; and the Repton School. Since 2011, I have taught violin and served as head of the strings department at Brighton College Abu Dhabi. I have enjoyed teaching, but my passion is musical arrangement, conducting, and performance.
I decided that I wanted to assemble a new type of orchestra: a full Western-style symphony orchestra which plays traditional Arabic music. Because I have valued my rich cross-cultural of learning and playing with musicians from across the globe, I wanted to assemble my orchestra the same way, with a group of international musicians from various cultural and educational backgrounds who each bring their unique techniques, flavors, and artistry to the ensemble. In 2008, I created the SharQ Orchestra. My vision was to perform traditional Arabic music with a full symphony orchestra.
As an ensemble musician, solo musician, director, and composer, I have enjoyed a career of diverse successes. I have performed with over 15 ensembles during my career. My work has been featured on countless recordings, including for “Teta” Movie among others. I have worked with one of the top producers in the U.K., Kipper Eldridge, who has produced numerous other famous artists, like Sting. I also worked with Ann Carr-Boyd with Studio 301 in Australia in 2014-2015, to record several inter-cultural collaborations.
I have performed and directed sold out concerts with the SharQ Orchestra at established venues like Madinat Jumeirah Theatre and DUCTAC Dubai. I have played before hundreds/thousands of people at DFC, Marina, Dubai Ports, The Galleria Abu Dhabi, Norfolk USA. In addition to performing solos with the SharQ Orchestra, I have recorded my own solo album, In Paradise,
I strongly believe that through music, citizens of the world can overcome hardship, devastation, and strife, and create peace and harmony. To that end, for many years, I have used my music to promote and benefit international charities, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic endeavors.
For example, in 2010, I performed at a charity event for Ayouni, an organization that helps
provide eye exams and glasses to Palestinian children, and in 2012, I performed at a charity concert for victims of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. From 2004-2008, I worked with the Dubai Autistic Center on projects to help autistic children react and interact with music. Since 2007, I have served as a regular performer at the Dubai Art and Culture Authority, which is the government authority that supports the Arts in Dubai.
I have also recently gotten involved with Musicians Without Borders, a nonprofit organization based in Amsterdam which strives to use the power of music to bridge divides, connect communities, and heal the wounds of war.
On Sunday 23rd August, residents of the inner north were treated to a magical eveningof music with world class violinist Mohamad Hamami, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to support the work of Melbourne based charity One Girl as part of their 2015 ‘Do it in a Dress’ fundraising campaign.
The ‘Do it in a Dress’ campaign involves participants picking any challenge they like and performing it while wearing a dress. It costs around $300 a year to send a girl to school, which covers her tuition, uniform, books and stationary, and scholarships last for the lifetime of a girl’s schooling.
Mohamad was accompanied on stage by musicians from Stringspace,. Guests were enthralled by their beautiful playing and captivated by Mohamad’s incredible musical style.
The event was held at 75 Reid Street in North Fitzroy and complimentary wine and nibbles were included in the ticket price. This was made possible by generous donations from Brown Brothers Winery, Tassal Tasmanian Salmon and El Colmado, who provided sparkling wine, smoked salmon and Spanish gourmet cheeses.
The ambassadors and performers celebrate a successful event and prepare for the next round of fundraising!
Mohamad was in Sofia for 48 hours over the cold snowy February where he recorded 5 tracks for his upcoming album “World Citizen” with Sofia philharmonic Orchestra in Radio Sofia Studio.
After the studio recording Mohamad headed up to the Luxury Montecito Hotel to work with the Director Ani Stefanova to wrap up filming on his latest music videos.
Both videos and Album are planned to be lunched in the spring of 2016; the Album comes in Volume I first, and total of 12 tracks. A new musical journey that Mohamad started few years ago, touring and exploring the WORLD OF MUSIC in different parts of the world, from far East to the Americas, meeting with different composers and introduced to other music genres, some of the new tracks were composed for him exclusively.
More News to come … stay tunned.
It was a proud moment for ‘The Kindergarten Starters at Dubai’ as it hosted the 20th Inter-Junior School Musical Festival on Friday, 14th of December, 2012. The theme for this year’s Music Festival being ‘Broadway Glitz’, the young and enthusiastic troupes left no stone unturned to live up to the expectations required of Broadway performers.
Several Schools from different emirates participated in this prestigious event, the only one of its kind in Dubai. The Principal and CEO, Mrs. Asha Alexander welcomed the gathering. The Chief Guest Ms. Kajari Biswas, Consul Press, Information and Culture, presided over the function and appreciated the vocal skills of the performers, their poise and confidence in their creative expressions of choral music.
The performers showed immense musical aptitude under the guidance of their music teachers and demonstrated synchronized performances. The little stars with their majestic costumes against the grand Broadway backdrop added the extra sparkle to the event. The whole atmosphere was reverberating with foot tapping musical hits such as the Lion King, Cats, Mamma Mia, Tarzan, the Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, Chitti Chitti Bang Bang and others. The judges, Mr. Hamami, Ms. Edward and Ms. Katovich had a trying time deciding the winners.
The highlight of the evening was a peek preview of the Broadway Musical adaptation ‘Annie’ which will be staged in the KGS campus on 17th and 18th of December, a unique KGS production.
The chief judge, Mr. Hamami, felicitated the Music teachers of all the participating schools. The Chief Guest, Mrs. Biswas announced the eagerly awaited results. The Millenium School, Dubai, bagged the Rolling trophy and the GEMS Our Own English High School, Al Warqa (Girls) the Runners Up Trophy. They truly deserved the awards for their astounding musical renditions.
The music festival concluded with the musical melodies still ringing in the ears and with the enthralled audience wanting more!
MH became member with the “Musicians without Borders” and visited their home in Amsterdam 1-October 2015.
MH performs for over 5000 audience celebrating the NYE at the Galleria Abu Dhabi, UAE.
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As an ensemble musician, solo musician, director, and composer, I have enjoyed a career of diverse successes. I have performed with over 15 ensembles during my career. My work has been featured on countless recordings, including for "Teta" Movie among others. I have worked with one of the top producers in the U.K., Kipper Eldridge, who has produced numerous other famous artists, like Sting. I also worked with Ann Carr-Boyd with Studio 301 in Australia in 2014-2015, to record several inter-cultural collaborations.