Musical Performance: The New York Arabic Orchestra - Bassam Saba, Director

Sat, January 17, 2009 8:00 pm at Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew

(View all musical performances »)

An Evening of Classical and Contemporary Arabic Music

Featuring Leila Chahine, vocalist

See TimeOut NY listing

Saturday, January 17, 2009
8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.)

Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew
263 West 86th Street (at West End Avenue)
New York, NY 10024

Subway: 1 to 86th Street



General Admission: $20 online purchase, $25 purchase at door
Students (with valid I.D.): $15 online purchase and at door

Regular Admission $20.00 Student Admission $15.00

Special Support Rates:

  1. Donors - $50 - first 2 rows of seating
  2. Patrons - $75 - sponsorship in the program 2 rows of seating
  3. Directors - $100 - sponsorship in program and two complimentary VIP tickets:
  • - First two rows of seating
  • - Meet the Director and Musicians
Special Support Rates
Donors $50.00 Patrons $75.00 Directors $100.00

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for reception, refreshments

Information: (646) 732-3261

Listen: NY Arabic Orchestra
Listen: Bassam Saba

The Musicians:

Bassam Saba, Director; Nay, Oud, Violin, Flute, Alto Flute, Saz
Leila Chahine: Vocals
Rachid Abu Hassan, Hadi El-Debek, Michael Ibrahim,Roly Matalon: ‘Oud
Fadi Bardawil: Buzuq
Michael Ibrahim: Nay
Mary Barton, Megan Gould, Roberto Riggio: Violin
Dan Muscat:
Mike Block, William Martina: Cello
James "Sprocket" Royer: Contrabass
April Centrone, Nick Chbat, Oksana Fedorko, Hatshepsut Pakeman-Symister: Percussion

About the Orchestra:

The New York Arabic Orchestra is one of the most prestigious Arabic music ensembles in the United States. Since its inception in 2007, the Orchestra has enjoyed sold-out concerts and acclaim nationwide. The orchestra features the work of some of the greatest composers of the Arab world, including Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Farid El-Atrache, the Rahbani Brothers, Marcel Khalife, and the songs of Fairouz, and consists of professional musicians from throughout the tri-state area and across the country. Its members, from various cultural backgrounds, are classically and privately trained, and come together for one common reason: their love of Arabic music, and the desire to perform at the highest level next to that found in the Arab world.

About the Director:

Bassam Saba is a world-renown conductor, teacher and performer of Arabic music, and one of the most sought-after instructors in the nation. Along with the master music repertory of the Arab world, Saba brings to the New York Arabic Orchestra his very own compositions, deeply rooted in the traditions of classical Arab and Lebanese folk music, uniquely infused with elements borne of his western classical music education, world-travel and childhood experiences in Lebanon. Saba's music, intensely original and surprising at every turn, breathes excitement, emotion and intrigue into every listener, fast recognizing him as one of the best contemporary Arabic composers.

Saba is considered one of the best Arabic nay players in the world, and has been featured on the nay in ways that pioneer the instrument. He is also a master player of the ‘oud (Mideast lute), buzuq (Arabic buzuki), saz (Turkish buzuki) and violin. In addition, Saba, classically trained in western flute, is one of the few known flutists to play microtonal scales.

A native of Lebanon, Saba studied nay, 'oud and violin at the Lebanon National Conservatory. At the age of 17, he moved to Paris where he earned a B.A. in Western Classical music and Flute Performance at the Conservatoire Municipal des Gobelins. In 1985, Saba received his M.A. in Western Flute Performance and Music Education at the prestigious Gnessin Musical Pedagogical Institute of Moscow. He later returned to Beirut where he began to tour extensively with Fairouz, Marcel Khalife and Ziad Rahbani. Since moving to New York in 1991, he has been a featured soloist with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, as well as Simon Shaheen, Marcel Khalife, Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Sting, Santana, and such jazz musicians as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Fortune and Quincy Jones. Saba currently performs his compositions with his own Bassam Saba Ensemble as well as with Simon Shaheen's Al-Qantara and Near Eastern Music Ensemble, Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, and Kristjan Järvi's Absolute Ensemble, with whom he premiered a pioneering concerto for nay composed for him by Daniel Schnyder. As a soloist, Saba has performed with the Hannover, Detroit and Oakland Symphonic Orchestras. He has toured throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, Africa and Japan. In 2007 he was recognized by the National Arab American Museum as “one of the 10 most outstanding artists of the last decade to make a significant difference in bringing the beauty and rich cultural history of Middle East through music to American audiences.”

Last updated: 2009-01-17 01:05:47

New York Arabic Orchestra
New York Arabic Orchestra

Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew

263 West 86th Street
 (at West End Ave)
New York, NY 10024

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