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10 November, 2017 - 20:00 23:30

Maison Symphonique – Place des Arts

Naseer Shamma & the Orchestre Métropolitain conducted by Airat Ichmouratov

“East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” – Rudyard Kipling

Joining two top names, the undisputed master of the oud, Naseer Shamma, and the prestigious Orchestre Métropolitain, this exciting evening offers initiates a journey to the innermost depths of Arab and Western classical music. The major concert in the 18th annual Festival du Monde Arabe, presented at the Maison symphonique, Oud à l’Ouest is a present-day musical tale that belies prophecies of an eternal duality deaf to any call for communion or encounter. Filling the gaps between styles and worlds of learned music through refined yet capricious sounds reflects the ambition of this unforeseeable gathering that will surely leave its mark on the FMA season. Performances and compositions rich in atmosphere, instrumental mastery and intense mutual listening, with a partiality toward sobriety and inwardness – all this is converging toward magnificence devoid of pomp, a form of existential poetry in tribute to openness and courage!

As temple guardian of an instrument symbolizing a vast musical world, spanning decades and traditions with pride and grace, Naseer Shamma is among the great artists who can assume this level of daring with flair. With his partners, an exploration-minded conductor and the 56 outstanding musicians of the Orchestre Métropolitain, they will give Montrealers the chance to hear pieces by Mozart, Rossini, Vivaldi and Rimsky-Korsakov in a whole different way, along with original compositions by Shamma, shaking up old habits in favour of an innovative and experimental approach.

As regards Rudyard Kipling, Oud à l’Ouest upholds his vision favourable to uncommon alliances and collusions, because “there’s no pleasure like meeting an old friend, except, perhaps, making a new one.”


Nasee Shamma

Naseer Shamma conquers audiences at each of his performances and dares to bring his oud to distant shores. His music blends passion, imagination and virtuosity. At the boundaries of Indo-Persian, Mediterranean and Western influences, he gives new impetus to a heritage frozen in hermetic structures. His purpose is to break the forms rooted in the musical imagination and to pull oud playing away from its classical framework to reach new and previously unknown worlds of sound in Arab music. Oud à l’Ouest is another tour de force, a further demonstration of the mastery of this extraordinary musician, who reigns beyond the Arab world.

Born in the Iraqi city of Al-Kut, Naseer Shamma revealed a passion for the oud at a very early age. He gave his first concert at age 11. His research and curiosity led to musical discoveries, in particular by developing a one-hand lute-playing technique to give children wounded in the Gulf War the opportunity to play music. He created an eight-string lute based on a ninth-century manuscript by Abou Nasr al-Farabi, a medieval Persian philosopher and a leading commentator on the thinking of Aristotle as well as a musical theorist and an excellent oud player.

Naseer Shamma heads three oud schools, in Cairo (Egypt), Constantine (Algeria) and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), devoted to teaching classical and modern techniques. Various new-generation virtuosi have emerged from these schools, including Tarek Abdallah, Mohamed Abozekry (Festival du monde arabe, 2016) and many more. He is also known for his humanitarian actions and was named 2017 UNESCO Artist for Peace.

The Barber of Seville: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihNzcNka7Uk Granada: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJxemQp3O1A


Orchestre Métropolitain

Consisting of some 60 musicians, most of whom are graduates of Québec conservatories and faculties of music, the Orchestre Métropolitain has adopted, since its founding in 1981, a distinctive approach that is rooted in its unshakable determination to democratize and promote symphonic music. Since the appointment of Yannick Nézet-Séguin as its artistic director in 2000, the Orchestre’s reputation has grown steadily – in Montréal, Québec, Canada and abroad.

In its programming, the Orchestre Métropolitain affirms its pride in being what it is: authentic, bold, dedicated, passionate. The Orchestre’s activities reflect its core values of accessibility and community involvement, of artistic innovation and creativity. The Orchestre stands apart in its desire to share its enthusiasm for symphonic music and make it available to all.

The Orchestre Métropolitain is both the quest for excellence and an invitation to musical culture, which takes the form of its Young Music Lovers program, pre-concert talks, many educational and community partnerships and the more than 20 concerts it performs each season in Montréal boroughs, the result of more than 25 years of collaboration with the On Tour program of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Bruckner 3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9_iI_Ei3Q Berlioz – Symphonie fantastique: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK-rS6Uu8P4

Ticket price: 49$, 69$, 89$, 125$ (+ taxes)


  • By phone (Place des Arts box office): 514 842-2112
  • Online: you can choose to buy your tickets:

1) Through the Place des Arts box office (With applicable service fees – You can choose your seats online – Electronic tickets) or

2) Through the Festival’s box office (Without service fees – The Festival will choose your seats in the chosen category – Tickets to be picked up at the door on the event’s day).

Buy your tickets online – Places des Arts box office



10 November, 2017
20:00 23:30
69$ - 125$
Event Category:


Maison Symphonique – Place des Arts
Maison Symphonique - Place des Arts - PLACE DES ARTS, 175, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal, Quebec Canada
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