Join Marvin Rosen and Classical Discoveries Goes Avant Garde welcome Egyptian-born American composer Halim El-Dabh this Wednesday 5/13 at 11 AM ET.
Halim El-Dabh is University Professor Emeritus of African Ethnomusicology at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. He continues to teach African Cultural Expressions. He has conducted ethnomusicological research in the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Zaire. Within the African Diaspora, his research includes Brazil, Jamaica, and the United States.
Born in Cairo, Egypt on March 4, 1921, El-Dabh came to the United States in 1950, acquiring U.S. citizenship in 1961. After studies of Native American music in the American Southwest, he began studies with Aaron Copland and Irving Fine at the Berkshire Music Center in Massachusetts. Later, in New York’s vibrant musical scene, he developed close associations with such composers as Otto Luening, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Henry Cowell, John Cage, Alan Hovhaness, and Leonard Bernstein.
Among his compositions are eleven operas, four symphonies, numerous ballets and orchestral pieces, chamber and electronic works, and works for various combinations of African, Asian, and Western instruments. His ethnomusicological researches, conducted on several continents, have led to unique creative syntheses in his works, which, while utilizing contemporary compositional techniques and new systems of notation, are frequently imbued with Near Eastern, African, or even Ancient Egyptian aesthetics.