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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farid El-Atrash and his Oud

Maestro El-Atrash

Despite the VERY poor quality of this old B&W, historic Syrian television program, I always loved this performance and the soccer-like screaming and applauding from the audience.

Farid El-Atrash sure deserves serious investigation and following... he was born in Syria around 1915 and moved with his family to Egypt when he was a child. His mother sang and played the oud, and he became interested in music from an early age. Farid went on to study at a music conservatory, and among his teachers was the famous composer and oud player Riyad al-Sunbati. In the 1930s he began his singing career by working for privately owned Egyptian radio stations. Farid was later hired as an oud player and singer for the state radio station, and in 1941 he appeared together with his sister in a film, for which he composed all the music. His work went from strength to strength, and he became famous for his acting, singing and oud playing. He is now considered to be one of the best oud players of his time, and remains one of the most imitated singers in the Arab world. Farid al-Atrache died in Beirut in 1974, leaving a legacy of dozens of films and over a hundred songs. He has a huge fan base worldwide, and there is an outstanding website devoted to his life and music.


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