Simon Shaheen and Hanna Mirhige: Near Eastern Traditional Music
Simon Shaheen and Hanna Mirhige perform Near Eastern Traditional Music at the Bay Ridge Public Library as part of the 1989 Brooklyn Folk Arts and Artists Series.
Simon Shaheen, one of the finest oud and violin players performing today, is now a resident of the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. Shaheen is a master performer of a number of Arabic classical and folk music styles found throughout the Near East, and he is also a virtuoso performer of Western classical music. Because of the relative scarcity of Near Eastern traditional musicians in the United States, and because many countries in this region share the same musical and cultural traditions, it is common for artists such as Shaheen to cross cultural lines and perform together at the events of groups from a variety of Arabic countries.
Shaheen was born in Tarshiha, a village in Galilee. At the age of five he began studying oud with his father, Ilimket Shaheen, a noted performer, composer and scholar, and at the age of seven began studies in Western classical violin at the Rubin Conservatory in Haifa. Since coming to the United States in 1980, he has studied Western classical music at the Manhattan School of Music and at Columbia University, while continuing to perform and record Arabic music. In Brooklyn, New York City, and throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, he has per formed at community-based events, at concerts for broad audiences, and at lecture/demonstrations at major universities such as Princeton and Harvard. He has written musical scores for three plays, and is now at work on a score for an American-Canadian film.
Simon will be accompanied by Hanna Mirage, on darbuka (a Middle Eastern drum) and tambourine. A native of Jerusalem, Mirhige spent many years in Lebanon accompanying some of the finest Middle Eastern artists in concert and on radio. He has performed at major concert halls and festivals throughout the Middle East and the U.S.
Introduction by Kathleen Condon and Simon Shaheen