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Attia Sharara

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Name  Attia Sharara
Role  Composer
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Similar People  Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Gamal Abdel‑Rahim, Saleh Abdel Hai, Rageh Daoud, Selim Sahab

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Attia Sharara (Arabic: عطية شرارة‎; born 18 November 1922 in Cairo, Egypt, died 15 June 2014; first name also spelled Atiyya, Atiya, Atteya, Ateya, Atia, or Atya) is an Egyptian composer, arranger, violinist, and conductor. He is a member of that nation's second generation of classical composers.


He studied traditional Egyptian music at the Fuad I Institute for Traditional Music, where he also studied Western classical music for four years. He has had a career as a virtuoso violinist performing in traditional Arabic styles, and played for a time in the orchestras that accompanied Mohamed Abdel-Wahab and Umm Kulthum.

He began composing monodic music in 1950, and gradually adopted more Western musical techniques. He has composed vocal, chamber, and orchestral music, and one operetta, The Crystal Ball. He has conducted the Broadcasting Oriental Orchestra in Cairo. In addition, in the 1950s he traveled to many Arab countries, forming Middle Eastern traditional ensembles and founding music institutes. Among his compositions are two Arab concertos for violin, composed in 1970 and 1977, which are light works quoting several popular and folk tunes. He has also composed several concertos for nay (Egyptian cane flute), a concerto for 'ud, and another for cello.

In 1979 he established his Sharara Sextet, which included two of his sons, and which performed in many European nations. The group still performs regularly at the Cairo Opera House and Higher Institute of Arab Music in Cairo.[1][2] He is currently a professor of violin, music theory, and Arabic music composition at the Arab Music Institute of the Academy of Arts in Cairo. He won the State Encouragement Prize for composition in 1983.

His son is the violinist and conductor Hassan Sharara.

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