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Concert & book launch: The Oud

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Join us for a concert & book launch of The Oud: An Illustrated History, by Rachel Beckles Willson
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You are warmly invited for a concert and discussion to celebrate the launch of The Oud: An Illustrated History by musician and scholar Professor Rachel Beckles Willson. She has been researching the oud in its rich musical and cultural context since she first encountered it in Palestine in 2006. Rachel will be interviewed about the book by Dr. Nizar Rohana, a Palestinian musician now based in Utrecht, who is known for his contributions to the oud world. 

The concert will include a range of historical and original piece, played by a small ensemble with  Rachel Beckles Willson, Marianne Nordink (ney) and Ezgi Elkirmis (percussion), as well as solo oud compositions by Nizar Rohana. 

You will – of course – be able to buy signed copies of the book. All Rachel’s author royalties are being donated directly to Middle East Children’s Alliance to support Palestinians in Gaza.

19.00 doors open
19:30 programme starts
21:15 end – tea and chatting


Rachel Beckles Willson is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer and Professor of Intercultural Performing Arts at Codarts, Rotterdam, and Leiden University. She has performed widely as pianist and oud player, and she is currently preparing a series of CD releases of her electroacoustic compositions. She founded the website Oudmigrations www.oudmigrations.com which explores and celebrates the multiple spaces in which the oud has been made and heard.

Palestinian musician Nizar Rohana, now based in Utrecht, Netherlands, is known for his distinctive contributions to the oud world. Rohana blends virtuosity with contemporary compositions while preserving the oud's authentic language, drawing inspiration from diverse musical traditions. Over the years, he has performed globally, released albums, and collaborated with various artists. In 2021, he earned a Ph.D. in artistic research from Leiden University, focusing on oud taqsīm as a pre-compositional model, featuring new solo oud compositions influenced by Egyptian oud players.

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