Portrait Concert / Livestream Video
Halim El-Dabh

Halim El-Dabh – Instrumental Music

A portrait concert with the Zafraan Ensemble

The Zafraan Ensemble provides a focused portrait of the work of Halim El-Dabh with a selection of his compositions spanning seven decades: ranging from his early piano pieces from the 1950s to the ensemble work “The Pomegranate Concert” from 2007.

An early form of graphic notation from Egypt (detail)

An early form of graphic notation from Egypt (detail), documented in the book ‘Musicologie pharaonique’ by ethnomusicologist Hans Hickmann, Kehl am Rhein 1956

Past Dates

This concert focuses on the composing legacy of the Egyptian-American musician, composer, electronic pioneer, musicologist and teacher Halim El-Dabh (1921–2017) and will be streamed live by MaerzMusik from the Kuppelhalle at the silent green. The Berlin-based Zafraan Ensemble presents a broad stylistic spectrum of original compositions spanning seven decades that have rarely been heard in concert halls until now. These range from his first string quartet dating from Halim El-Dabh's time as a student in the USA and early piano compositions to the ensemble piece “The Pomegranate Concerto” and recent works for chamber ensembles. A chance to discover the instrumental music of this significant yet forgotten artist.


It Is Dark and Damp on the Front
for piano (1949)

Mekta ‘In the Art of Kita’, Books 1-3
for piano (1955)

String Quartet no.1
metamorphosis and fugue on Egyptian folklore (1951)

The Miraculous Tale
for alto saxophone & derabucca (2006)

Sweet and Prickly Pear
for violin & derabucca (2002)

Aapep and Ra
for double bass & narrator (2004)

Sonic No. 7
for derabucca or multiple drums (1965)

Sonic No. 10
for derabucca or multiple drums (1965)

The Pomegranate Concerto
for saxophone, string quartet & double bass (2007)


Zafraan Ensemble
Emmanuelle Bernard Violin
Yumi Onda Violin
Josa Gerhard Viola
Martin Smith Cello
Beltane Ruiz Molina Double Bass
Martin Posegga Saxophone
Clemens Hund-Göschel Piano
Daniel Eichholz Percussion

In collaboration with SAVVY Contemporary