Universiteit Leiden

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N. Rohana

PhD candidate

N. Rohana
+31 71 527 2999

Nizar Rohana is an Israeli-born Palestinian oud player.

More information about N. Rohana


In this project, Rohana aims to further develop and enrich his improvisation and composition skills and techniques, and to develop a framework to continually expand his performance repertoire.

An investigation of the taqasim recordings of four of the leading figures of oud playing in the 20th century, namely the Egyptians Muhammad Al-Qasabji (1892-1964) and Riyad Al-Sunbati (1906-1981), and the Iraqis Jamil Bashir (1920-1977) and Munir Bashir, will form the bases of development of Rohana's improvisation skills in this project. By reflecting on, analyzing, and performing their taqasim, he aims to underline and conceptualize creative and innovative practices of each player, and adapt and combine these practices in his own improvisation performance.

An analysis of key oud compositions from the standard repertoire that is widely performed and taught in Arabic music conservatories, together with compositions by contemporary oud players forms the other dimension of his artistic research within this project. Through this investigation he aims to familiarize himself with different approaches to composition, and acquire new tools that will enable him to develop original compositions that will expand his performance repertoire in new directions.

By articulating this embodied knowledge he aims to contribute to both the practice of improvisation and composition of instrumental Arabic music, more specifically the solo oud performance.  

Curriculum vitae

Nizar Rohana is an Israeli-born Palestinian oud player. He was born in the village of Isfiya on Mount Carmel in 1975, and began playing music while still very young. He discovered the oud when he was 15, and in 1996 he moved to Jerusalem to study. In 2001 he was awarded a Bachelor of Music and Arts (specialisms in oud performance and Musicology) from the Arabic Music Department of the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance and the Musicology Department of the Hebrew University. For some time he then focused his work on the music of the great Egyptian composer Muhammad Al-Qasabji, completing his Master’s degree in 2006.

Today, Nizar is a prominent oud player on the Palestinian music scene and internationally. He has gained wide experience on the stage as a soloist and within a range of groups, playing traditional, modern, experimental and world music. During the last twelve years he has performed in prestigious venues in countries such as Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, the USA and in Europe.

Nizar launched his first album "Sard" (Narration) in May 2008. Here he maintains an idiomatic language for the oud, yet achieves refreshing expressions and rhythms through dialogues with double bass, qanoun and percussion.

Between 2000 and 2007 Nizar worked as one of the main oud teachers at the Edward Said National Conservatory in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. He was the Academic Director of the Jerusalem branch in 2003 and 2005 and also the Deputy of Academic Affairs in the academic year 2006-2007.  

Grants and awards

  • Joep Bor (promotor)
  • prof. Frans de Ruiter (promotor)
  • Anne Van Oostrum (supervisor)  

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Academie der Kunsten

Work address

P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden


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