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Farid Atrache

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Biography

Farid Atrache (1915-December 26, 1974) (Arabic: فريد الأطرش) (Alternate spellings: Farid El-Atrache, Farid Al Atrash, Farid El Atrash, Fareed Al Atrache, Fareed Al Atrash and Fareed El Atrash) is an Arab composer, singer, virtuoso oud player, and actor. He is one of the most important names of twentieth century Arab music.

Early life

Farid was born in Syria to a Druze Royal family who fought the French Colonial armies. In the mid 1920s he moved with his family to Egypt escaping the French occupation, later on they were naturalized by the Egyptian government. Farid’s mother sang and played the oud, which spurred his musical interest at an early age.

As a child and young adult, Farid sang in school events. He studied in a music conservatory and became an apprentice of the renowned composer Riyad as-Sunbaty. In the 1930’s, Farid began his professional singing career by working for privately owned Egyptian radio stations. Eventually, he was hired as an oud player for the national radio station and later as a singer. His sister, Asmahan, was also a talented singer, and for a while they worked together. In 1941, they starred in their first successful movie, in which Farid himself composed all the music.

Musical career

Farid had a long and colorful music career lasting four decades. His talent was musically diverse, as he was a highly regarded composer, singer, and instrumentalist. His composing and singing style cannot easily be defined, as his music and voice could vary greatly from song to song.

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