Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

GEM Hosts "100 Years of Umm Kulthum" Concert on Feb. 21

Sun 04 Feb 2024 | 01:08 PM
Ahmed Emam

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) will host the "100 Years of Umm Kulthum" concert, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first performance of the Lady of Arab Singing, Umm Kulthum.

The "100 Years of Umm Kulthum" concert" is scheduled to take place on February 21st, and it will be the first of its kind in the Arab world. Many Arab stars from across the region will attend the event. The concert is organized by RMC, the company behind "100 Years of Umm Kulthum". It is part of the company's efforts to revive the artistic and musical heritage of the Egyptian Renaissance years and preserve the cultural legacy left by great artists in Egypt and the Arab world.

The concert will feature an exceptional lineup of Umm Kulthum's timeless classics, including "Enta Omri", "Seret El Hob", "Amal Hayati", "Lessa Faker", "Hathehi Laylati", "Hayart Qalbi Maak", "Faat El Maad", "Lil Sabr Hudud", "Ya Msaharni", and more of her memorable songs that still dominate the music scene in Egypt and the Arab world.

Ahmed Ebeid, Founder and Managing Director of RMC Worldwide Partners for Consultancy and Marketing, expressed his enthusiasm for organizing this musical extravaganza. He stated that through their concerts, they strive to offer new renditions of authentic, popular songs and celebrate Egypt's rich musical heritage. 

Ebeid also noted that "their vision is not only to promote Egyptian tourism but also to project a positive image of Egypt globally. 

Kulthum is regarded as the most renowned name in the history of Egyptian Music. She was born on this day in 1898, in the village of Tamay e-Zahayra, belonging to the city of Senbellawein, Dakahlia Governorate, in the Nile Delta.

In her earliest years, she learned how to sing by listening to her father who was teaching her older brother, Khalid. From a young age, she showed exceptional singing talent. Her father, who was an imam at the local mosque, taught her to recite the Qur'an, and she is said to have memorized the entire book.

In 1922, she moved to Cairo and in 1926, she built her first musical instrument. Her career started when she met the poet Ahmed Rami and then the composer Mohammad Al-Qasabji.

In 1928, she released her first monologue which made her very famous and opened the gateway for her to enter the film industry through her voice in the movie "Awlad el-Zawat" in 1932. She then joined the Egyptian Radio upon its inception in 1934 and was the first artist to join the station.

Later that year, her fame as a singer increased through sales of her records, to the point where she embarked upon a major tour of the Middle East and North Africa, performing in prominent Arab capital cities such as Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut, Rabat, Tunis, and Tripoli.

Kulthum participated in several films, however, she decided to devote herself to singing completely. Not long after her successful debut with these two artists, Kulthum found the most impactful partnership on her path with composer Riyad El-Sonboty, whose name is associated with some of her best classical songs. Some argue that 'Al-Atlal', or The Ruins, is the most memorable song of her discography.

Upon the wish of Nasser, she started collaborating with the remarkable Egyptian composer Abdel Wahab, who helped her venture into new areas in the musical arena before her encounter with Baligh Hamdi who, according to the most conservative of critics, revolutionized her performances.

In 1975, the Lady of Arab Singing died at the age of 76 after a struggle with heart disease.