Issam_Rafea.jpgIssam Rafea

Born in Kuwait on 1971, Issam Rafea studied in Kuwait and Syria at the High Institute of Music in Damascus. He received his BA degree in oud and double bass in 1995. Currently, in addition to his position as Chair of the Arabic Music Department at his alma mater in Damascus, he is on faculty of the Arab Conservatory where he teaches both oud and western harmony. Issam Rafea is also an active composer and arranger for Syrian TV and theater. Fourth prizewinner at the Cairo Improvisation Competition 2000 (1st in the oud category), Issam is a reputed soloist and the principal conductor of the High Institute of Music's Arabic ensemble in residence in Damascus Syria. His performances have taken him to world-renowned concert halls in France, Spain, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait and Syria; in addition to his several solo appearances with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra. Issam was awarded the second prize at the "Arabic Traditional Ensembles" competition in Cairo, Egypt, 1997.