Contrasting Classical European and Oriental Music. What Makes Their Experience Different?

14.11.2018, Public Event, OI Beirut

19 – 20:30h

European Classics – Cello Solo

Johann Sebastian Bach / Suite No. 5 in C minor, contrasted with excerpts of Suite No. 3 in C major


Oriental Classics – Oud Solo


Combining Classics – Cello and Oud in Duet

Improvisation & compositions by Ziad El Ahmadie


Cello: Mounir Mahmalat, Oud: Ziad El Ahmadie

Presentation: Mounir Mahmalat


Music is a deeply personal experience – it triggers emotions as a unique response to our upbringing and environment. Yet, different genres of music elicit a different set of emotions and function differently according to our prior musical experiences. In elaborating on the functionality of classical European and Arabic music, this concert will explore one of the most salient questions of music psychology: why do different types of music have a different effect on us?


Mounir Mahmalat pushes the cello into new territories – from Irish Folk, to Rock, Flamenco, and Tango. His musical work questions established conventions of classical music and puts one of its fundamental questions the core of his concerts: how to create emotional connections? Mounir received a classical education in Music Performance from Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf, Germany, and studied Jazz at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. After endeavors with various (Folk-)Rock Bands as a cellist, singer, and studio musician, his most recent ensemble was the Habanera-Duo, which took him on tours around Germany and Europe. His second instrument is the 5-String-Banjo with which he attends to his hidden love: Blue-Grass-Music. He received several prices for music performance and composition.


Ziad El Ahmadie is a Lebanese composer, oud player, and singer. He studied the oud at the National Lebanese Conservatory, while pursuing an undergraduate degree in communication arts at the Lebanese American University. While Ziad’s interest in music stems from traditional Arabic music, he constantly fuses sounds from various influences and creates wide-ranging harmonies in his musical creations. As a composer, he composes music for television, cinema, and the theatre. Among his most recent achievements are the compositions and arrangements for the long-standing cabaret show “Hishik Bishik”. As a oud soloist, he collaborated with many international known composers. Ziad has won many awards in musical composition among which the “Zaki Nassif” Award in Beirut in 2013, and is regularly invited to perform at numerous concerts and festivals in the Middle East and in Europe.