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Simon Shaheen Fusion Quartet

April 6 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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Internationally acclaimed Palestinian musician Simon Shaheen is a virtuoso on the oud (a North African/Middle Eastern stringed instrument similar to a lute) and the violin.


The music he plays ranges from traditional Arabic melodies to jazz and Western classical, and his original compositions blend these styles. He learned to play the oud as a child in the Israeli/Lebanese region of Galilee from his father Hikmat, a master of the instrument, and later studied violin at the Conservatory of Western Classical Music in Jerusalem.

After graduating from the Academy of Music in Jerusalem in 1978, and teaching there for two years, Shaheen moved to New York City, where he earned graduate degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University.

Shaheen spends half of his time spreading awareness of Arabic traditional music through workshops and lecture/demos at colleges and universities throughout the United States. His performing career has taken him to major venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Cairo Opera House. He has recorded many albums, including the highly successful “Blue Flame” (2001), in which his group, Qantara, fuses multiple genres; it received 11 Grammy nominations.

In 1994, he was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts at the White House with a National Heritage Award for this contribution to the world of arts. He continues to create harmony among various cultures with his performances with Qantara, a group of top multicultural musicians.

Beginning in 1994, Shaheen has produced the Annual Arab Festival of Arts, called “Mahrajan al-Fan,” in New York. The festival highlights the work of renowned Arab artists and teaches about Arab culture. He also founded the Annual Arabic Music Retreat in 1997, a week-long intensive program of Arabic music and culture held each summer at Mount Holyoke College.

Simon Shaheen

Advance Tickets Online: $20
Tickets at the Door (if available): $25



April 6
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


140 North 5th St
Reading, United Kingdom

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