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 (left) Hannah Mirhige (right)
  • Simon Shaheen playing for Bay Ridge Public Library audience
  • BACA Folk Arts Director, Kathleen Condon (right)

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.

From The Artist/Community : 

Introduction by Kathleen Condon and Simon Shaheen 


Bay Ridge Branch, Brooklyn Public Library 7223 Ridge Blvd. at 73rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209
Tue, Mar 28, 1989
New York City