Travelling to Sydney for the second leg of their tour, the Oxford Maqam put on a splendid performance in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney on 29 March. The Great Hall was a wonderful setting for this unique event and the musicians played and sang beautifully to the enthusiastic crowd. The audience was most appreciative of their work - giving them another standing ovation and demanding encores.
In Canberra at ANU:
Having been welcomed to the stage by the CASS Dean, Professor Rae Frances, the Oxford Maqam troupe proceeded to treat hundreds of Canberrans to a brilliant exposition of traditional Arabic music on 26 March 2019.
Showing they are masters of their instruments and vocalists of unique and superb qualities, the Maqam presented classical Arabic music and its poetry of the late Ottoman period in the Arab world.
The group consists of Martin Stokes playing the qanun; Yara Salahiddeen, a singer of classical and folkloric Arabic song; Tarik Beshir a vocalist and oud player; Eric Samothrakis playing the djembe; Malachy O’Neill on double bass; Salar Asid on violin; Mina Mikhail Salam on the ney; and Sharif Zaki Ibrahim on the riqq.
In her speech, Professor Frances thanked Dr Huda Al-Tamimi and Professor James Piscatori for their roles in bringing the group to Australia. She said the event would not have been possible without the financial support of the Council for Australian Arab Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "They, along with the University, have imaginatively and generously supported the visit of the Maqam. The event is another fruitful and cooperative venture between the Council and ANU."
Showcasing Traditional Arabic Culture Through Music has received grant funding from the Council for Australian-Arab Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.; The ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies; The ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences; The ANU Research School of Social Sciences; and The ANU Humanities Research Centre.