Rihab Azar at ‘Listen to the World’

18:30 - 20:30
Nov 1st 2022

Join us for an evening of live music with the acclaimed oud player Rihab Azar and special guests. This is an in-person event. Free tickets for refugees and asylum seekers.

For more information contact Jo Winsloe Slater on jo.winsloe@stethelburgas.org
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Come as our guests.

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“Through our instruments and with a suitable repertoire, we were able to communicate the sounds of different instruments and types of music. This sharing of historical knowledge supported by sound allowed the audience to reflect on how instruments that are familiar to them came about thanks to the knowledge shared through migration.”  Rihab Azar’s reflections on music and migration in A Response to ‘Listening to Displacement.’ 

Rihab was born in the Syrian city, Homs to a musical family. Her father, luthier Samir Azar made her first oud and started teaching her when she was 7 years old.  She continued her musical quest later at the Conservatoire of Damascus and was taught by masters of the oud in Syria including Prof. Askar Ali Akbar, Issam Rafea, Mohamad Osman and Ayman Aljesry. The influences at the Conservatoire included Azerbaijani, Arabic, Turkish and Western classical music which allowed Rihab an understanding and practice of various genres.

​In 2014, She became the first woman oudist to perform accompanied by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. The same year marked her graduation and starting as a teacher’s assistant for music theory subject at the Conservatoire of Damascus. ​Rihab was the oud player of the “Syrian Female Oriental Takht” from 2006 until 2015, the year in which she moved to the UK, sponsored by the Foreign and Common Wealth Office, to study Music Education at University College London. The Arts Council England recognised her as a musician of “Exceptional Promise” in December 2016, which allowed her to continue her professional pursuit in the UK under the “Migrant Talent” scheme.

Rihab has toured internationally since 2008 and has had memorable collaborations with Cantata Dramatica, London Sinfonietta, The Third Orchestra, Stile Antico and soon will be touring with Theatre of the Voices, DK.  She has performed at iconic spaces in the UK and abroad such as the Royal Opera House, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, King’s Place, Wigmore Hall, Lambeth Palace,St.Paul’s Cathedral,The British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum,Imperial War Museum and at The  National Museum of Denmark.

​Rihab has been increasingly writing original music for solo oud and various interdisciplinary contexts combining visual arts, story telling, theatre and radio plays.  You can find out more about Rihab at Rihab Azar, London-Based Syrian Oud Player

Rihab will be accompanied by Dudley Phillips on the acoustic bass. Playing both double and electric bass, Dudley Phillips is a creative musician and composer based in London. Working in the fields of contemporary songwriting, jazz and folk/world music, he plays and records with artists from all over the world, both in the UK and abroad, including Canada, Kenya, Japan, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Norway and the USA in addition to the United Kingdom. Amongst the many he has toured and recorded with are Robert Wyatt, Bill Withers, Mark Knopfler, June Tabor, Cedar Walton, Marc Almond, John Harle, Tim Robbins, and Amy Winehouse. He has contributed to a large body of recorded work, from albums on the legendary Blue Note label to EMI classics, working with many major [and minor!] record labels along the way….. Self-taught, he went on to win a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music . He has one album of his own ‘Life Without Trousers’, and has written album tracks for several artists working internationally including Monica Vasconcelos, The Orlando Consort, Perfect Houseplants and Filomena Campus. Dudley has toured with a huge range of Artists and performed in most areas of the world. He’s also played on many film and TV scores, as well as jingles, and is a visiting performing arts lecturer at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Guildhall School of Music, and Middx University, London.

Co-ordinator: For all questions about Listen to the World or to be added to the mailing list, please contact Jo Winsloe Slater at  jo.winsloe@stethelburgas.org.

‘Listen to the World’ is a place of live music where the traditions and talents of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers find a home among local artists.  Come and join us, as either a listener or performer, everyone is welcome. Take a look at a showreel of previous events: Listen to the World Open Mic – Showreel 2021 – YouTube

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Arts Council: