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Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

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Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (born Yewubdar Gebru , Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, December 12, 1923) is an Ethiopian pianist and composer.

Young Yewubdar secretly fled Addis Abeba at the age of 19 to enter the Guishen Mariam monastery in the Wello region, she had once before visited with her mother. She served two years in the monastery and was ordained a nun at the age of 21. She took on the title Emahoy and her name was changed to Tsege Mariam.

Her father Kentiba Gebru and her mother Kassaye Yelemtu both had a place in high society. Yewubdar was sent to Switzerland at the age of six along with her sister Senedu Gebru. Both attended a girls’ boarding school where Yewubdar studied the violin and then the piano. She gave her first violin recital at the age of ten. She returned to Ethiopia in 1933 to continue her studies at the Empress Menen Secondary School. In 1937 young Yewubdar and her family were taken prisoners of war by the Italians and deported to the island of Asinara, north of Sardinia, and later to Mercogliano near Naples.

Yewubdar resumed her musical studies in Cairo, under a Polish violinist named Alexander Kontorowicz. Yewubdar returned to Ethiopia accompanied by Kontorowicz and she served as administrative assistant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later in the Imperial Body Guard where Kontorowicz was appointed by the Emperor Haile Selassie as music director of the band.

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