President’s Chamber Music Series-Rahim AlHaj Quintet

© Western New Mexico University

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Date(s) - 09/24/2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Light Hall Theater


Iraqi oud maestro, composer, NEA National Heritage Fellow and two-time Grammy nominee Rahim AlHaj performs Letters from Iraq, as a quintet including 2 violins, viola and cello.

Oud musician and composer Rahim AlHaj began playing oud at the age of nine, going on to study under Munir Bashir at Baghdad Institute of Music and receiving various awards there.  In 1991, post-first Gulf War, Rahim was forced to leave Iraq due to activism against the Baath regime. He moved to US in 2000 as a political refugee.

Considered one of the world’s finest oud players, Rahim has recorded and performed with other master musicians of varied backgrounds and styles including guitarist Bill Frisell, accordionist Guy Klucevsek, sarod player Amjad Ali Khan and indie-rockers REM.  Delicately combining traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary styling/influence, his pieces establish new concepts without altering foundation of traditional “Iraqi School of Oud.” His compositions evoke the experience of exile, consequences in post-war reality and new beginnings. Rahim has released 13 CDs, receiving two Grammy nominations.



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