Aldeburgh Young Musicians Meet The European Egyptian Contemporary Music Society

In February 2017, Aldeburgh Young Musicians collaborated with Egyptian musicians from the European Egyptian Contemporary Music Society (EECMS) at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, south east England. Through workshops, the Egyptian visitors broadened the horizons of the young musicians by exploring Egyptian musical scales and rhythms and inviting them into group improvisations.

Aldeburgh Young Musicians is an artist development programme for advanced young musicians and composers aged 8 to 18, providing instrumental tuition, mentoring, performance opportunties and intensive study residencies and weekends throughout the year.

Leading the sessions at Snape Maltings, qanun player Saber Abdel Sattar, percussionist Nesma Abdel Aziz, violinist Hossam Shehata, nai player Hany El-Badry and composers Rosilla Adel and Bahaa Ansary were joined by two British musicians, Tom Coult – who previously visited Egypt as part of the EECMS’s Heritage & Modernity programme – and Jan Hendrickse.

The culmination of this meeting of musical cultures was an “open session”, with the musicians performing compositions devised during the workshops and borrowing elements from Egyptian and western music. You can watch the session in full below.

Tom Coult reflected on a fascinating week at Snape Maltings: "The musicianship of the Egyptian musicians has been fantastic and I’ve been absolutely blown away by the dedication and creativity and musicianship and intelligence and curiosity of these Aldeburgh young musicians."

We’re delighted to have been able to support this collaboration and assist with bringing the Egyptian musicians to the UK. This continues our connection with Aldeburgh Music; Marcellino Safwat and Mirette Hanna took part in the 2012 Aldeburgh World Orchestra and seven other musicians from the Conservatoire in Cairo participated in the Britten-Pears Orchestra programme.