FIAF > Cultural Events > Performing Arts

FIAF Artists-in-Residence 2011
New York Arabic Orchestra
Bassam Saba, Director

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Program Description
Arabic Music Semester Intensive (AMSI)
Spring 2011 Schedule
Registration & Fees
Purchase Now!

Program Description 

FIAF is pleased to announce its first year-long artist residency!

Led by Lebanese musician Bassam Saba, FIAF audiences first became familiar with the New York Arabic Orchestra in May 2010 through their sold-out, opening night concert in Florence Gould Hall as part of World Nomads Lebanon.

As an extension of this World Nomads partnership, Saba and his orchestra now bring to FIAF a wealth of musical exploration and performance, ranging from Arabic music to western classical method. Featured programming includes summer classes for kids and teens as part of FIAFís summer camp program, a Fall 2011 concert/presentation as part of FIAFís Young Audience Program, and the Arabic Music Semester Intensive (AMSI), a year-long program of beginner-through-advanced monthly workshops in theory, rhythm, and improvisation for adults and teens, starting on February 26. See spring schedule below.

Formed in 2007, the Orchestra is a 30-piece ensemble specializing in the performance of classical, contemporary, and popular vocal Arabic music. Its members, hailing from multiple music-professional and cultural backgrounds, form sections of oud (Arabic lute), nay (Arabic reed flute), the qanun (Arabic zither), Arabic percussion, Western strings, woodwinds, and chorus. Bassam Saba, known throughout the U.S. and abroad as one of Arabic musicís finest conductors, has led the NYAO via strict, intense training to an authentic sound and quality regarded highly around the world.

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Arabic Music Semester Intensive (AMSI)

AMSI provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the maqamaat (modes), taqasim (improvisation), iqa’at (rhythm), and ornamentation of Arabic music. Each semester (fall and spring) is comprised of 3-4 monthly workshops, divided into two sections (Level I and Level II). All instruments and vocalists are welcome.

AMSI dually serves as training for the New York Arabic Orchestra, establishing the necessary foundation required for membership. AMSI also serves as professional development / CV experience for professional musicians and professors of music.

Since its inception in 2010, AMSI has been featured in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston, New York, and Taipei, Taiwan.

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Spring 2011 Schedule*

1. Saturday, February 26
2. Saturday, March 12
3. Saturday, April 9
4. Saturday, May 14

*Fall 2011 schedule TBA.

Level I, 12–2:45pm
The Level I workshop is ideal for classically-trained musicians new to Arabic music, or musicians comfortable with their instruments who read music notation slowly.

Level II, 3–5:45pm
The prerequisite for Level II is one (1) fully-completed AMSI semester.
Good sight-reading skills preferred.

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Registration & Fees

Registration ends February 18
Late registration not eligible for student or semester discounts

FIAF Members pay Student Rates!

Tuition per Workshop = $125 / $100 students
Tuition for Full Semester (4 Workshops) = $450 / $350 students

Full Semester with Private Instruction
40-minute Lessons = $650 / $500 students
1-hour Lessons = $750 / $550 students

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Purchase Now!

Regular Rate
Student / FIAF Rate

Contact Information

For more information, contact:
April Centrone at

To schedule private lessons, contact:
Alejandro Castellano at

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