The 21st edition of the Arab Festival for Music opened on Thursday in the Cairo Opera House. The festival awarded and honoured several notable figures in Arab music.
The awards are named after Riad El-Sonbaty, one of Egypt’s most eminent musicians, who famously composed for the legendary Om Kalthoum.
Noteworthy honourees included Mohamed Noh, Maestro Abdelhamid Abdelghafar, Ghada Ragab, poet Bahaa Eddin Mohamed, Fatma Gad, Mohsen Farouk, Calligrapher Fekry Mohamed Soliman, and Tunisian music researcher Hamady Ibn Othman.
The festival includes 13 musical concerts with 25 singers and soloists from five Arab countries such as Afaf Rady, Ali El Haggar, May Farouk, Nadia Mostafa, Ihab Tawfiq, Khaled Selim, Riham Abdel Hakim, Marwa Nagy, and Rehab Motawe’. Soloists include Mohamed Helmy on trumpet, Saber Abdel Sattar and the talented young musician Ahmed Hussein Elsheik on Qanun.
The festival honours El-Sonbaty and showcases landmark events of the renowned musician’s life. The festival also honoured 12 prominent people who have enriched artistic and cultural life in Egypt. President of the Cairo Opera House Dr Inas Abdel Dayem was in attendance and the festival will run until 15 November.