Rabih Abou Khalil’s Arabian Waltz

Louth Contemporary Music Society in association with Drogheda Arts Festival presents Arabian Waltz with Rabih Abou Khalil, the EQ Ensemble and Elisaveta Blumina in St.Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda 4 May 2012 at 8pm.

The shrewd, witty and inventive Abou Khalil – a world musician years before the phrase became a label -makes the hot, staccato Middle Eastern flavour and the seamless grooves of jazz mingle as if they were always meant to. John Fordham The Guardian

For nearly a quarter century, Lebanese-born oud master and composer Rabih Abou-Khalil has defied all of the artificial boundaries to create a musical world entirely his own. With his first Irish commission for Louth Contemporary Music Society, Rabih once again proves to be a truly visionary artist. The programme will include Rabih Abou-Khalil performing solo and also for the first time with the finest Irish musicians in the EQ Ensemble.

The concert will feature a magical  programme of music ranging from Elisaveta Blumina performing piano works by Fazil Say and Alan Hovhaness to The EQ Ensemble performing John Surman’s Mimosa and Leylek Geldi for string quartet and bass. Rabih will perform solo on the oud and then will be joined by the EQ Ensemble for the world premiere of a new commission for string quartet, bass and oud. The new commission, funded by the Arts Council, will receive its world premiere on 4 May 2012 as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.

Born and raised in the cosmopolitan climate of Beirut in the sixties and seventies, Rabih Abou-Khalil leaned to play the oud at the age of four. In the Arab world, this instrument is as popular as the guitar or the piano in the West and is the composer’s instrument par excellence. An oud is a form of lute or mandolin played principally in Arab countries. The Lebanese civil war forced him to leave his country in 1978 to study classical flute in the German city of Munich, where he was tutored at the Munich Academy of Music by Walther Theurer.

Abou-Khalil has asserted himself in the avant-garde as a composer as well as an instrumentalist. With his original composing technique, his unconstrained, yet daring approach to classical Arabic music, he has found a musical language entirely his own. Commissioned by the Südwestfunk (Southwest German Radio), Abou-Khalil wrote two unusual compositions for string quartet in his own rhythmically and melodically charged style. The maiden performance with the Kronos String Quartet was the highlight at the Stuttgart Jazz Summit in 1992. On his CD,Arabian Waltz, with the Balanescu String Quartet, he successfully integrated the string quartet—for centuries the domain of European classical music—into his musical language.

Tickets for the concert cost €10 and are available from www.ctb.ie ( 0818 205 205)or the festival box office 353 (0)41 983 3946 or at www.droghedaartsfestival.ie.

Rabih Abou Khalil’s first Irish commission was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.The Arabian Waltz concert is funded by Create Louth in association with Drogheda Arts Festival. Louth Contemporary Music Society is supported by the Arts Council.

The Drogheda Arts Festival, the first festival of the summer, will run from 3rd – 7th May with new theatre, music, family events, visual arts and lots more. 

Further Information & listings see below or log onto: www.louthcms.org or www.droghedaartsfestival.ie


Rabih Abou Khalil’s Arabian Waltz
St. Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda, Co. Louth
Runs Friday 4 March 2012 | 8.00pm | €10