Mohamed Hamdy (Clarinet):
- Performed as solo Clarinet with both Cairo Symphony Orchestra and Cairo Opera Orchestra for more than 20 years.
- Studied with the most famous Professors of Clarinet such as Algirdas Budris, Peter Loeffler and Hanz Deinzer.
- Performed as a soloist with the Czech Zillena Orchestra in its tours to Austria and Czechoslovakia.
- Took part with the Russian Radio Orchestra conducted by Amin Khatchaturian and also performed with the Frankfurt Academy Orchestra and Lithuania Philharmonic Orchestra in their tours.
- Has performed many solo recitals, also as accompanist with Chamber Orchestras in Germany and Europe.
- Took part in many international festivals and competitions.
- Has many recordings for Egyptian and European Radio and Television.
- He was favorably mentioned in Egyptian and European Papers.
- Artistic Director for Music, Opera and Ballet Sector at the Cairo Opera House and a Professor of Clarinet at the Cairo Conservatoire.
Ashraf Sharara (cello):
He joined the Cairo Conservatoire when he was eight years old and graduated with distinction in 1981. Ashraf Sharara studied cello with Esakadza, Moustafa Nagui and Hornstein and continued his studies at the Musikhochschule Heidelberg-Mannheim (Germany) with Prof. Daniel Grosgurin in 1983. He gave several concerts as a soloist and performed with chamber music orchestras in Germany, Switzerland, and France. He represented his institute in the European Exchange Programme for Music institutes and was favourably mentioned in Swiss and German papers. In 1988 he returned from Germany, after obtaining the highest degree in cello performance. He did several recordings with the Egyptian Broadcast Company. Currently, he is a professor at the Cairo Conservatoire.
In 1941, Attia Sharara joined the Fouad I Institute of Music, where he studied the traditional Arab violin, harmony, organ, and music history. Sharara performed with major Egyptian song composers such as Elqasabgy, Alsunbaty, and Zakaria Ahmed. He established his own orchestra, and participated in the Um-Kulthum group of instrumentalists. Besides his activity as a composer, he was the first violinist of the Radio Orchestra and then became its conductor. Attia Sharara worked in several Arab countries and helped to set up several institutes. He wrote an educational book on violin playing in the Arab style. He initiated a sextet performing his compositions mainly. Two sons of his, Dr. Hassan (violin) and Dr. Ashraf Sharara (cello) are members of the group. Currently, he is a professor emeritus of the Cairo Academy of Arts. Attia Sharara has received several merits and medals from the Egyptian Government.
Graduated from the High Institute of Ballet in 1991. In 1995, he joined the Cairo Opera Ballet Company as a first dancer. His repertoire includes main roles in: Le Corsaire, Malgré Tout, Zorba, Dances qu’on Croise, Hassan and Naema and many other ballets. In 1997, he obtained the golden medal at Medhat Assem’s Annual Competition. He is the first Egyptian dancer to be a guest of honour at the Russian Bashkir State Opera and Ballet Theatre, where he participated in Romeo and Juliet. In 2003, he was invited to Italy where he performed The Four Seasons ballet and the role of "Don Jose" in Carmen with the Renato Greco Company. In 2005, he was invited by Athens Opera Theatre to perform the role of Zorba.
Hassan Mo'taz (Cello):
At the age nine, he joined the Cairo Conservatoire where he studied cello with Prof. Ayman El Hanbouly. He won several local and international awards and prizes. In 1997, he obtained a certificate of merit for his performance in chamber music from the International Festival of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, and another one from the International Cello Competition Rostropovich in Paris.
Hassan participated in several international activities such as the Mediterranean Sea Orchestra in France (1995, 1996 and 1998), the International Youth Orchestra Schleswig-Holstein in Germany (1997) and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim in 1999.
As a soloist, he performed with the Cairo Opera Orchestra, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of Arts Orchestra. He attended several cello workshops such as the International Rostropovich Workshop in Baku 1998, Yo-Yo Ma in Weimar, Germany 1999, the Spanish cellist Lluís Claret 1995, 1996 and 1998, the Brazilian cellist Enrico Kanerow and Lynn Harrell in Lübeck, Germany 2001.
Currently, he is an assistant teacher at the Strings Department of the Cairo Conservatoire and also first cellist of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.
Hossam Shehata (Violin):
Born in Cairo, in 1980 from a musical family. Joined the Cairo Conservatoire in 1987, where he studied violin with several professors as: Prof. Hassan Sharara (Egypt) and Prof. Irakle Beridze (Georgia). He obtained his diploma from the Cairo Conservatoire with excellence in 1997. Participated in the International Wieniawsky Competition for Young Violinist (Poland 1997), the International World Youth Musician Festival in Moscow in 1998 and the Jacques Thibaud Competition (Paris 1999). He performed many concerts (chamber music and recitals) in Egypt and abroad as: Germany, Holland, Poland, he also performed many concerts as soloist with the orchestra. He took part in many international master classes, where he studied with famous professors as: Prof. Robert Szreder, Prof. Roman Totenberg, Prof. Ivan Strauss and Prof. Herman Krebbers. Some of his performances were recorded by the radio of Holland, Germany and Poland. He took a special prize as a top talent and soloist from the International Master Class in Holland-March 2001, where he recorded his first CD. He graduated in June 2001 with excellence. He is preparing for his masters in Maastrich Conservatoire (Holland) with Prof. Robert Szreder for master degree. Since 2003 he is 2nd concertmaster of Cairo Symphony Orchestra and demonstrator at Cairo Conservatoire.
Iman Moustafa (Soprano):
Iman Moustafa graduated with distinction from the Cairo Conservatoire in 1986. She obtained her doctoral degree with honors in Paris where she had studied and performed with famous soprano Caroline Dumas. She received first prize in oriental and opera singing at the Cultural Supreme Council Competition in 1981, and in the same year represented Egypt in an international competition in Toulouse, France.
In 1986, she took part in the 5th Madame Butterfly International Competition held in Japan. Iman Moustafa performed with a well-known French organization (1984), and with the Mediterranean Sea Orchestra. She also gave several solo recitals in Alexandria and Cairo, at the Egyptian Academy of Arts in Rome, and in other concert halls throughout Italy.
She sang the part of the countess in Le Nozze di Figaro in Paris. At the Maria Callas Competition in Rome in Italy (1991) she won the first prize and was awarded the State Prize in Arts in 2002. Her repertoire includes roles in many operas such as: Thais, Les Pecheurs de Perles, La Boheme, La Traviata, Tosca, Aida 2002 near the site of Pyramids, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana and Don Giovanni. Currently, she is the head of the singing department at the Cairo Conservatoire.
Kamel Salah-Eldin (Baroque violoncello):
Born in Cairo. He began to study the cello at nine at the children's school of the Cairo Conservatoire, from which he graduated after the diploma 1979, and appointed to a teaching position there. He attended graduate studies at the Frankfurt Academy of Music with G. Mantel (1983-86), after further studies, he obtained the "Soloist Diploma" in 1988. At the same time he studies with cellist H. Shapiro (USA) and D. Shafran (USSR).
He is appointed first cellist at the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra since 1988. His vast cello repertoire ranges from Baroque, to contemporary music. Numerous appearances in the Middle East, Europe, and the USA. He has also conducted orchestral concerts in which he played as cello soloist at the same time (1998, 1999 and 2002).
Mahmoud Osman (Violin):
Associate of the Trinity College of Music (London 2005) and associate of the Royal Academy of Music (London 2006). Started studying violin at the age of eight with Umberto Bernava at the Cairo Conservatoire, then with Irakli Beridze and Sarvar Ganeev. In 1975, he went to Austria to complete his studies at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts where he studied with Professor Michael Frischenschlager. In 1980, he went to Freiburg (Germany) and participated in a workshop of violinist Wolfgang Marschner. In the same year, he participated in the annual festival at Arena di Verona with the Verona Philharmonic Orchestra in Italy, one of the most distinguished sites of opera performance. In 1985, he returned to Egypt and began wide activity of chamber music. In 1996, he joined the Cairo Opera Orchestra as a first leader besides presenting many chamber music recitals with the Chamber Music Orchestra. In 2002, he introduced the famous Polish composer Karol Shimanovsky for the first time in Egypt with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire includes: Brahms' Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Concerto and Prokovief's Concerto. In 2002, he founded the Cairo Youth Ensemble for Chamber Music performing many chamber music concerts in both Cairo and Alexandria. Currently, he is working as a professor of violin in both the Cairo Conservatoire and the Arab Music Institute.
Manal Mohie El Din (Harp):
She took up harp lessons at the age of ten with Professor Nahed Zikri. In 1987, she graduated with honours from the Cairo Conservatoire and received a scholarship from the DAAD association to continue her studies in Germany. She studied with Dagmar Busse-Lorberth at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, and with Gisèle Herbet at Hochschule für Musik, Würzburg. Gisèle Herbet and Manal gave several duo recitals at the Cairo Opera House organised by the French Cultural Centre. As a soloist, Manal performed with the major orchestras in Egypt: the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, the Cairo Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, the Cairo Opera Orchestra and the temporary Citadel Festival Orchestra. Among the cultural events she took part in abroad were the opening of the Egyptian Wing at the Louvre Museum in Paris, UNESCO’s Mediterranean and Balkan Women Creators Meeting held in Greece, the International Harp Congress in Prague in 1999, and Geneva in 2002, the European Harp Symposium held in Amsterdam, and the opening of the exhibition of ancient Egyptian monuments at the National Art Center in Washington D.C. Manal is a member of the Cairo Opera Orchestra and the Banat El-Nil (Daughters of the Nile) ensemble. A founding member of this ensemble, she took great pains to include the harp into performances of traditional Arabic music. With her ensemble she toured several Arab and Western countries. Her vast repertoire includes solo and chamber works, and as a soloist she did several recordings of film music. Her recitals and concerts were frequently broadcast on Egyptian radio and television. Manal Mohie El Din is a faculty member at the string department of the Cairo Conservatoire.
Mohamed Shams (Piano):
Born in 1984. Started to play piano at age of seven when he entered the elementary school for gifted children in the Cairo Conservatoire. He made his first stage appearance at age of 12 playing Mozart's minor concerto with the Cairo Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. Since then he started to give a lot of concerts as solo and chamber music at cultural centers, Cairo Opera House, American University and foreign embassies. Got an international prize from Senigallia International Piano Competition in Italy-1997. He was the third prize winner of the 9th international piano competition for young pianists "Cultural Association F. Chopin" 1999- Italy. At the age of 15 he played Rachmaninoff's Paganini - Rhapsody with Cairo Symphony Orchestra and he played with many orchestras such as Cairo Opera Orchestra, Alexandria's Library Chamber Orchestra and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. He was chosen by the first lady Suzan Mubarak to play in the AUC celebration of its 40th anniversary. He attended numerous master classes given by G. Sandor, N. Petrov, N. Shtarkmann, I. Biret and J. Martin. He was invited by the London Chamber to play in Mozart's Concerto no.12 conducted A. Sunshine in 2002. He got a scholarship to attend the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina where he won the first prize and was invited as guest artist to play with the BMC Orchestra in 2003. He was invited by the University of Bonn to play Chopin concerto no.1 in its opening season in 2005. In 2006, he won the Fulbright grant to study in the Catholic University of America in D.C. with Prof. M. Neeley.
Nayer Nagui (Conductor):
Born in Alexandria 1970. Joined the Alexandria Conservatoire, where he studied under the Italian Prof. Herta Pappo. Furthered his musical studies at the Cairo Opera House, under Prof. Haig Avakian and Russian teacher Yelena Dzamshvili. Obtained the advanced certificate of the Royal Schools of Music, London, in piano performing and theory of music, 1996. Studied conducting with Prof. Maestro Dominique Rouits at L'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris where he obtained his diploma of conducting in 2001. His vast repertoire ranges from classical to modern and light music. He has written over 30 Hymns for Choir and Combo, coached Choir and Soloists for Disney productions in Arabic language for many animated pictures. He was chosen as a coach back in the last opera singing workshop with the Anthwerp Conservatoire in Belgium. His debut in opera conducting was back in 2003 by 3 Comic Operas of Rossini: Il Signor Bruschino, La Cambiale di Matrimonio, L'Occasione fa il Ladro, furthered in 2004 with Barbiere de Seville and Puccini's La Boheme highlights. Also since 2004 Nayer Nagui is a frequent invited guest conductor with Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducting symphonic and lyric programs that ranges from Beethoven to Sibelius, and others. He conducts "Coro de Tres Culturas" since May 2004 till now in its annual performances of "Festival de Printemps des Alizes" in Morroco where he usually performs a selection of his works for Chorus and Soloists as well as his arrangements for other works by Egyptian and Arabic Composers. Founder and conductor of Cairo Celebration Choir, a chorus of 120 members performing oratorios and famous chorus works. He conducted Cairo Symphony Orchestra in the 1st Euro Mediterranean concert for inter culture dialogue in Cairo, Lecce Symphony Orchestra in Rome, Napoli, Calabria Chamber Orchestra in Italy and the Moroccan Philharmonic Orchestra in El Rabat, Casablanca and El Suera. Conducted the Algerian Symphony Orchestra in the opening of the 7th cultural festival of the European Union in Algeria 2006 and in the Festival celebrating Algeria, capital of the Arabic Culture for 2007. Composed and conducted the music for the celebration convened by the Ministry of Culture marking the Golden Jubilee of the nationalization of Suez Canal. He lately conducted the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in the opening of the 30th Cairo International Film Festival.
Ramzi Yassa (Piano):
Ramzi Yassa is the winner of several international piano prizes. He has appeared both live and on television throughout the world in such places as the Barbican, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Kennedy Center, the Mann Auditorium, Sala Verdi, the Musikverein, the Palau, the Tivoli, the Theatre Des Champs Elysées.
His concerto performances have associated him with such conductors as Charles Groves, Yehudi Menuhin, Zubin Mehta, Horst Stein and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ramzi Yassa was born in Cairo, Egypt, where he studied in the National Conservatoire until he joined the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow for five Years. Prizewinner of the Marguerite Long and the Viotti Competitions, he won a Certificate of Honor in the Tchaikovsky Competition and three years later the First Grand Prix in the Paloma O'Shea International Competition in Santander. He received the Franz Liszt Centenary Commemorative Medal. Ramzi Yassa has been invited on judge's panel in different international competitions in the United States and Europe. Among his recordings are several CDs released by Belgium Company “Pavane”. Besides his performing activities, he is a Pianoforte Professor at the Ecôle Normale de Musique "Alfred Cortot" in Paris, France. In 1998 he was the director of Cairo Opera House in Cairo, Egypt. In 1999 he was appointed to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture as "Special Advisor for Music."
Reda El Wakil:
Reda El Wakil has been a bass-baritone with the Cairo Opera Company since the inauguration of the new Cairo Opera House. He studied at the Cairo Conservatoire from where he obtained his doctorate in singing. In France, at the “Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris”, where he had been granted a scholarship, he received his concert diploma.
Reda El Wakil is the winner of several international competitions:
- Placido Domingo Competition in Paris (1st Prize), 1994.
- International Competition of Paris (4th Prize), 1994.
- International Competition of Toulouse (1st Prize and Public Prize), 1994.
In the same year he also received the State Merit Award from President Mubarak.
He sang the main roles of Don Giovanni, Conte Almaviva, and Don Alfonso in the first Arabic version of Mozart’s operas Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte, all translated by Dr. Ali Sadek. He performed the main bass roles in operas like La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Carmen, Thaïs, Anas El-Wugud, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Il Signor Bruschino, L’Elisir d’Amore, Il Trovatore, Aida, Un Ballo in Maschera, Rigoletto, and La Traviata. In 1987, the late nineties, and 2002 he sang the roles of Ramfis and Il Re in the Pyramids or Luxor productions of Aida. Reda’s performances abroad started in the late eighties and led him to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, England, Italy, Poland, and Germany. From 1995 on he was invited to famous stages in France, such as the Opéra Bastille in Paris where he performed in Un Ballo in Maschera, the Opéra Comique with Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse with Fedora. Performances in Avignon, Nîmes, and Montpellier followed with roles in Rigoletto, and Samson et Dalila. Reda also took part in the 1999 Massenet Festival in Saint-Etienne, as Timour in Le Roi de Lahore which he also sang in Bordeaux in the same year. He returned to Toulouse for Madama Butterfly and to the Opéra Bastille for Turandot in 1999. Carmen, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Rigoletto and Jerusalem followed, some of them several times. One of his engagements led him to Chile (Madama Butterfly by Puccini) in September 2001, others to Palm Beach, Florida (Tannhauser, Don Carlo as King Philippe and the Inquisitor) in 1998, 1999, 2002 and to Bari, Italy in 2005. His repertoire includes sacred music and he performed in several Requiems by Verdi, Fauré, Mozart, Duruflé, and Brahms, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria as well as secular orchestral works such as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Fantaisie.