Ahmad Al Khatib


As Ahmad Al Khatib is admired in the Middle-East as a successor of greatest oud players, one gets impressed by his modesty full of dignity. The son of a poet, he always admired poet's power to create from words visions and feelings for themselves and others. Composing is his attempt to achieve the same through musical language. In the service of emotion generated among listeners, his musical quest reveals the grave elegance of an imperious quest of meaning.
Born in 1974, in a Palestinian refugee camp of Jordan, Al Khatib learns oud since childhood. He studies musicology and classical western cello at Al-Yarmouk University (Jordan), winning a first prize of Solo Playing Competition in 1990 and 1991. After graduating with honours in 1997, he settles in Ramallah (Palestine). He joins the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in East Jerusalem and teaches in the Oriental Music Department, later heading it. In 1999, he establishes Karloma, a music ensemble that gathers teachers from the ESNCM, among whom Youssef Hbeisch.
April 2002, during the siege and curfew imposed on numerous Palestinian localities by the Israeli army, Al Khatib composes. The same year, the visa allowing him to live in Palestine is not renewed.
Forced to leave, he continues to work for the Conservatory, building connections with various institutions in the Arab world. Since 2004, he resides in Sweden, where he obtained a Master's degree in Ethnomusicology and Methodology of Musical Education.
First CD in solo, Sada (Resonance) is released in 2004. Al-Khatib performs his compositions but also pays a tribute to Jamil and Munir Bashir.
An outstanding educator, Al Khatib published the first books for students learning oriental music, now in use in numerous countries. Today, he teaches at the University of Gothenborg Theory of Modal Music, Composition and Ensemble Music.
He performed as a soloist and with various ensembles such as the Yarmouk Oriental Quartet (Jordan), the Oriental Music Ensemble (Palestine), Salam(i) and the Samara Trio (Sweden). He still composes and performs with Karloma on a regular basis, offering a first CD in 2001 and a second in 2011. Al Khatib also participated in recording an album with Suhail Khoury, Jerusalem after midnight.
Tours and international festivals led him thoughout the world.
In Jordan (Oud days in Amman), Palestine (Jerusalem music festival), the Gulf States and the occupied Golan Heights, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco (Titwan Oud Festival), Brazil (Mercado Cutural of Bahia), United States (Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Switzerland, Estonia (International Early Music Festival of Tartu), Sweden, France.

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