Naseer Shamma

Naseer Shamma

naseer shamma

Naseer Shamma: The Oud Virtuoso Spreading the Beauty of Arabic Music

Naseer Shamma is considered one of the most important and influential oud players of his generation. He was born in Kut, a city in southern Iraq, in 1963. He grew up in a family of musicians, and his father was also an oud player. Shamma began playing the oud at the age of 12, and his talent was quickly recognized by his teachers and peers.
Shamma studied music at the Baghdad Academy of Music, where he was trained in both Western and Arabic music. He later moved to Cairo, Egypt, to study at the Higher Institute of Music, where he received a degree in oud performance. During his time in Cairo, Shamma was exposed to a wide range of musical influences, including traditional Arabic music, Western classical music, and jazz. He was particularly influenced by the music of the Egyptian composer and oud player Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

Naseer Shamma: The Oud Virtuoso Spreading the Beauty of Arabic Music
Naseer Shamma is a world-renowned Iraqi oud player and composer, who has dedicated his life to promoting and preserving the beauty of Arabic music. Born in 1963 in Kut, Iraq, Shamma began playing the oud at the age of 12 and quickly showed a natural talent for the instrument. He went on to study music at the Baghdad Academy of Music and later at the Higher Institute of Music in Cairo, Egypt.
Shamma has since become one of the most respected oud players in the world, known for his virtuosic playing and innovative compositions. He has performed in major concert halls and festivals around the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Cairo Opera House. He has also collaborated with numerous musicians from different genres, including jazz, classical, and world music.
One of Shamma’s most important contributions to Arabic music is his efforts to preserve and promote traditional music and instruments. He founded the Beit Al Oud Al Arabi (House of Arab Oud) in Cairo in 1998, which is dedicated to teaching and preserving the art of oud playing. The school has since expanded to other countries, including Iraq, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, and has trained many young musicians in the art of oud playing.
In addition to his work in education and preservation, Shamma is also a prolific composer, with over 20 albums to his name. His compositions are known for their innovative fusion of traditional Arabic music with Western classical and jazz influences. He has also composed music for film and theater, including the soundtrack for the Egyptian film “The Yacoubian Building” and the play “Al-Mutanabbi.”
Shamma’s dedication to promoting the beauty and richness of Arabic music has earned him numerous awards and recognition throughout his career. He was awarded the UNESCO Artist for Peace award in 2017, in recognition of his efforts to promote intercultural dialogue through music. He has also been awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, the Al Owais Cultural Award, and the Medal of Culture from the Egyptian government.
Despite his many achievements, Shamma remains humble and dedicated to his craft. He continues to perform and teach, spreading the beauty of Arabic music to audiences around the world. As he once said, “Music is the language of the soul. It is a universal language that transcends borders and unites people of different cultures and backgrounds.” Thanks to Naseer Shamma, the beauty of Arabic music will continue to be shared and appreciated for generations to come.


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State Prize of Merit in Arts

President of Egypt


Artist for Peace title



Sharjah Prize

Sharjah Prize for Arab Creativity


Arab Music Achievement Award

Arab Music Festival in Cairo


Sheikh Zayed Book Award

for his book “The Arabian Oud”


Al Owais Cultural Award

for his contributions to the development of Arabic music


Arab Lifetime Achievement Award

Cairo Opera House