Tarek Abdallah Biography – Egyptian Composer

Tarek Abdallah is an egyptian composer, lutenist and musicologist from Alexandria, born in 1975. He draws inspiration from the golden age of the art of Egyptian oud solo (1910-1930), which is at the center of his musicological research.

He grew up in Alexandria, it is as a teenager alongside the local cultural environment, especially the theater scene, where he had started self-taught in music. He is 19 years-old when he begins playing the oud and then meets Hazem Shaheen with whom he founded the group “Eskenderella” in 2000.

In January 2005 the Arab Oud House of Cairo awards him the diploma of soloist and teacher with the Award of Excellence. He receives parallel teaching of several masters, the lutenist Hazem Shaheen and the great composer and violinist Abdou Dagher. He’s formed in the Moroccan singing with Said Chraibi and in Persian music with Dariush Talai. Since 2001 he lives in Marseille and is currently preparing a PhD in Musicology at the University Lumière Lyon 2.

Tarek Abdallah combines the experiences related to the transmission and popularization of knowledge related to the Arab Lute through creations, masterclasses, conferences and workshops throughout the Mediterranean area.


He receives first of all the teaching of Hazem Shaheen with whom he founded the group “Eskenderella” in February, 2000. Then of the Iraqi Master, Naseer Shamma, at The Arab Oud House of Cairo which awarded him in January 2005 the diploma of Soloist and Professor with the prize of excellence.

At the same time, he was formed by the Grand Master and the Egyptian composer Abdou Dagher as well as in the Moroccan singing with Saïd Chraïbi and in the Persian music with Dariush Talaï in the Abbey of Royaumont in France. In 2008 he obtains the diploma of Musical Studies (Traditional Musics – oud) of the National School of Villeurbanne with the congratulations of the jury.

Research, Musicology

Tarek Abdallah Adel Shams

In 2009, he obtained a Master’s degree (Research and Professional) in Musicology of the University Lumière Lyon 2 . At present contractual PhD student (researcher) within the same university. Project of thesis: ” the virtuosity in the art of ’ ûd in the XXth century “, supervised by Anne Pénesco. Since 2012 he is also member of Nonkilling Arts Research Committee’s http://nonkilling.org/node/7


He taught at Arab Oud House of Constantine in Algeria, in the Sultanate of Oman or in the Egyptian Cultural center of Paris. He has also ran oud workshops in Germany at the Oriental music Summer Academy in Sulzburg and within the cultural association ” La Ruche ” in Marseille and gives private lessons.

(Individual and collective teaching: progressive assimilation of the directory, the rhythmic cycles, the work on the instrumental technique, approaches the improvisation). Since 2013, he participates in workshops with children, proposed by Al Al Mawred Thaqafy / Culture Resource Foundation in Egypt and Lebanon cultural program “Action for Hope.”


- 2015 – “Walsa, Egyptian musical suites” in duet with Adel Shams El Din (Buda Musique) Awards : “Top Mezzo” Mezzo Classic-Jazz TV – Songlines Magazine Best Album 2015 – “Bravos” Trad Magazine.

On stage

Tarek Abdallah occurs on stage solo (recital), in duo, trio (with Adel Shams El-Din, Ghassan Sahhab, Bahaa Daou). He was used to collaborate with artists from different musical horizons as Orchestra Baroque-graffiti, Tommy Smith and Pino Iodice (jazz), Naseer Shamma and Eastern Orchestra (70 musicians among whom Ross Dali, Dhruba Gosh), the Orchestra of Arab Oud House, the masters Mustafa Saïd, Hazem Shaheen, Abdou Dagher, Saïd Chraïbi, Darius Tala’ï and recently the Turkish Tanbur master Murat Salim Tokaç or the Hungarian Cimbalom virtuosos Miklos Lukacs and Kalman Balogh. Also some musicians from Marseilles : Sheikh Zein Mahmoud, Bijan Chemirani and Manu Théron.

Abdallah also composed for Anton Tchekov’s play ” The Seagull ” by Cie de L’Egrégore and accompanied the readings of Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Fanny Cottençon, Elizabeth Masse or Jacques Bonnaffé, Marie-Christine Barrault and Catherine Allégret within the Festival Marathon des Mots in Toulouse. He also accompanied the Syrian actress Fadwa Soliman at the Festival d’Avignon 2012 and the french actor Boris Terral in the reading of “Le Premier Homme” (Albert Camus) in Besançon festival “Les Mots Doubs” (Fr).

Some references

Lebanon: Baalbeck Festival, Metro Al Medina in Beirut
Egypt: Beit el Oud (Arab oud House) in Cairo, Centre Culturel Français in Alexandria, Jesuit Cultural Centre in Alexandria, Alexandria Library, Oufuqy Music Festival
Oman: Sultan Qaboos University in Masqat
France : Abbaye de Royaumont, Institut du Monde Arabe à Paris, Festival Les Suds à Arles, le Centre Culturel Egyptien de Paris, Rencontres Polyphoniques de Calvi, Festival Asse Arcadie, Festival d’Avignon, Autres Rivages à Uzès, Les Voix du Prieuré au Bourget-du-Lac, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, Studio de l’Ermitage, Cité de la musique de Marseille, Babel Med Music, Les Joutes Musicales à Correns, Luberon Jazz festival, Festival Berlioz, Festival No Border à Brest, Nuits du Suquet à Cannes, Lieu Unique in Nantes.
UK: Royal Albert Hall in London, The Ahbab Festival Cambridge
USA: Alwan for the Arts à NYC, Museum of Art de Cleveland, Arab American Museum de Dearborn.
Switzerland: Stanser Musiktage, Poussière du Monde Geneva
Germany: Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt Berlin, Speyer Guitar Festival
Algeria: Grand théâtre de Constantine
Italy: Teatro Mancinelli à Orvieto, Festival Isole che Parlanno
Belgium: Sfinks festival
Hungary: WOMEX’15 Budapest, Festival Ritmo Müpa Budapest
Czech republic: Respect Festival
Poland: Festiwal Ethno Port