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Bassam Saba

Bassam Saba is one of the nation’s leading figures of Arabic music. Saba is a world-renowned nay virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist, performing on oud, violin, buzuq, saz and western classical flute. Saba studied nay, oud and violin at the Lebanon National Conservatory. At the age of 17, he moved to Paris where he received his BA in Western Classical music and Flute Performance at the Conservatoire Municipal des Gobelins.

In 1979, Saba moved to Moscow to study at the prestigious Gnessin Musical Pedagogical Institute where he received an MA in Western Flute Performance and Music Education (1985). He later returned to Beirut where he began to work extensively with the biggest stars of the Arab World: Fairouz, the diva of Lebanon, and composers Marcel Khalife and Ziad Rahbani.

Saba moved to New York in 1991. Since then, he has worked with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Simon Shaheen, Wadi El-Safi, Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Sting, Santana, and jazz musicians like Herbie Hancock, Sonny Fortune and Quincy Jones. Saba currently performs his compositions with his own group, directs the New York Arabic Orchestra, and performs with Simon Shaheen’s Al-Qantara and Near Eastern Music Ensemble; Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble; and Christian Jarvi’s Absolute Ensemble, premiering a pioneering concerto for nay composed for him by Daniel Schnyder.

As a soloist, Saba has performed with multiple symphonic orchestras around the world, such as the Philharmonics of Hannover and Detroit. He has toured throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, Africa and Japan.

Saba is New York’s primary teacher and conductor of Arabic music, and is one of the few most sought-after teachers in the U.S. He has held numerous Arabic music workshops and lectures around the U.S., and has conducted numerous orchestras and ensembles at educational institutions such as Harvard University and the Arabic Music Retreat, the most prestigious camp for Arabic music in North America, attracting participants from all over the world. As a conductor, Saba has also led orchestras for Kazim Al-Saher and Sarah Brightman, and directed the Beirut Symphonic Orchestra.

Also classes of:

Arabic buzuk
Music Theory/Solfege
The art of the Arabic and fusion Improvisation

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