Master and Solo Oud and Composer also Music Consultant
Ahmed Mukhtar was born 1969 in Baghdad and has played the Oud and Arabic percussion since 1979, worked with many folk music groups and musicians in Baghdad.
- · 1983 Studied Oud and percussion in the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad with the mastersGanim Hadad and Jameel Jerjis and.
- · 1985 Ahmed has worked with Arabic orchestras and performed on Iraqi TV with several Iraqi groups.
- · 1990 He studied Oud and western percussion at the High Institute of Music in Damascus.
- · 1999 he studied at the London College of Music- M.H diploma ,
- · 2003 At ( SOAS – the School of Oriental and African Studies ) were he obtained a master’s degree in performance, including Middle Eastern and Arabic music.
- He is currently teaching Oud, percussion and Arabic music theory in many places in London, including (SOAS – University of London and Taqasim Music School) and London institute of research and music studies also working as musical program director in Al-Fayha Iraqi T.V
v Taqasim Music School
v Baghdad ensemble music group
v Iraqi Music week
v Solo program in Alfayah Iraqi T.V (presenter and producer)
v Sleep Song (Project in France)
Awards and prices:
- 1999 the Musicians Union in U.K granted him the award of best non-western musical compositions.
- 2003 The UN chose Ahmed and sixteen other musicians from all over the world to release a CD for the benefit of the victims of terrorism and wars
- 2009 He was granted (Alhambra) Award for Excellence under auspices of the Queen of Britain.
- 2015 He was granted (Babyloan) Award for Excellencein music compositions.
Compositions and Works
v Mukhtar has released four CDs, two in 1996 and 1999, also The ARC Music Company has released another two CDs (rhythm of Baghdad-2003) and (Road to Baghdad-2005) music composed by Mukhtar, recently he finished his 5th CD (Babyloan Fangers -2015)
v Mukhtar has written music for plays and films for Arabic TV stations. (MBC, ART, Mustakela and BB5). Also has composed music for:
v New Iraqi-European version of Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale” that was produced at The London Old Vic theater (January 2006) by British director Andrew Bigley.
v Music theatre (my Name Jamaal) directed by Algerian, Abdul Nasser Kkalaf.
v Music for dramatic poems (Baghdad open sky) poems wrote by Selah Al-Hamada.
v AL-BAGHDADI film, The Gold Award winner at the International Filmmaker Festival, directed by Mayhem Riada, the British – Iraqi director.(2008).
Festivals and performances
His Festival performances include:
- The International Festival in Poland -1987
- The International Festival of Arabic Music in Cairo-1994
- The Conference of Arabic Music in Damascus-1995
- The International Music Feast in Cambridge University1997
- The International Conference and Festival of Lute and Music in France and Spain 1998-2002
- The Festival of Iraqi Culture -Stockholm 2002.
- The Festival of Iraqi Culture -Stockholm 2003
- WOMAD Global festival- Reading 2003
- Many live performances and concerts for BBC Radio 3 London.
- Mediterranean Festival 2004- Italy
- a guest performer in the international music day 1/1/2004 form BBC radio 3
- A guest performer in the Book International Exhibition in U.A.E- 2005
- Iraqi Music Week in London, as director and performer-2006.
- Al Mada Festival – Iraq- Arpil 2007
- A Gust performer on the Conference of Arab Writers in Algeria 2007
- A Gust performer on the Arabic Films Festival in Italy 2007
- Iraqi Culture week in UNESCO- Paris 2007.
- Institute of the Arab World -, The Festival of ‘Baghdad to Cordoba In the footsteps of Ziryab’. Paris May 2008
- He performed 3 concerts with BABYLON: myth and reality, an expiation and festival In British Museum 2009
- General Supervisor of Salih Al- Kuwaiti’s celebration in University of London – 2008
- Kamel Shiaa annual Festival – Brussels 2009
- General Supervisor and performer of Iraq children celebration in Queen Elizabeth Hall 2010
- He is the Composer and performer of” Sleep Song project” In France-2011-2012 and continual now.
- Hajj is the Journey to The Heart of Islam festival in British museum 2012.
- He performed 2 concerts with Babiy international festival for multicultural and music In Iraq 2013-2014
- 2014 Performed in Festival of the Activist Humanities in the World sponsored by : SOAS, University of London, University of Oxford, University College London, University of Virginia
- Baghdad msuical Festival 2015.
- Babyloan international festival for multicultural and music In Iraq 2015.
FROM NEWSPAPERS IN WORLD PRESS
The unfretted Oud may be the hardest of all instruments to play, with its delicately flattened intervals, but Mukhtar extracts magic: he can make it dream, gallop, or thunder, and he uses silence to great effect. ”
Michael Church (the Independent on Sunday 23 March 2003
Ahmed Mukhtar’s blessed fingers fashioning shades and shapes from his instrument that most people can only dream of. Veering from sprightly melodic segments to passages of innovative strokes and strums, the effect is a unique excursion to the heart and soul of sensual acoustics.”
(People Sound, Music Company)
“The album from Baghdad, played significantly here by two exiles, comprises more contemporary and better-recorded pieces by an Oud and percussion duet. The percussionist, Alsaadi, either has extra hands or some tasteful overdubbing has been used to give richer percussive backdrops. These textures seem to free up Mukhtar to do some really spacious playing, much of which is a delight. ”
Taplas Magazine (April/May 2003) Rob Smith
”His finger-picking is ultra- delicate, and underpins a lovely melodic gift; the prevailing emotion is nostalgia for the peace which Iraq has lost, plus a celebration of its refined musical heritage.
Independent on Sunday, The, May 29, 2005 by Michael Church
FROM NEWSPAPERS IN ARAB PRESS
“The concepts of the great Arabic philosopher, Al- Kindy, are the foundation on which Ahmed Mukhtar has developed his skills in playing the Oud. He practices Al- Kindy theoretical concepts, by using music liberated from clinched predictable styles, music based on the rich wonderful musical traditions, but at the same time enriched by the spirit of contemporary music”.
AL Quds Newspaper
“Ahmed Mukhtar uses techniques from all over the world but does not dilute his music with western elements. Mukhtar is an Oud player and composer from Iraq. He has studied Arabic music styles in depth and is concerned to preserve the complexities of the traditions”.
Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper
“Mukhtar works outside the area of songs and does not limit himself to merely making musical entertainment. His music is rooted in the traditional Iraqi style and he uses the different playing techniques, adding tremolo to distinguish his playing. He also has unique style of harmony”.
“Ahmed Mukhtar did not perfect his skills merely to play and study but to embrace the whole culture and emotion of the music and the instrument. He was captivated at an early age by the sound of the instrument and he has devoted his life to exploring and mastering its potential. In concert he develops a mystical intensity full of emotion and imagination, taking the listener with him as he explores his soul through his playing”.
“Ahmed Mukhtar is a product of the Iraqi school of Oud playing. His music reflects its history, its sadness and its mysticism. His playing takes you to the cafes, alleys and minarets of Baghdad. “