Thursday, July 13, 2006

INSO e-newsletters (Episodes I to 3)

INSO Monthly Newsletter
December, 2001
Episode 3
Distributed by Al-Wafaa News Website
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In this episode:

1. News
2. INSO Tour Update by Denis Morrison [Sponsor in Seattle]
3. 'History of Music Documentation in Iraq' by Bassim H. Petros [W/E Team]
4. 'History of the INSO - Part II' translated into English by Wafaa' Al-Natheema [W/E Team]
5. A Special Message from Wafaa' Al-Natheema [W/E Team]


Stay Tuned for Middle Eastern composers and some of their published work in the next episode.

1. NEWS:

* We are pleased to announce that Jason Carter, a Spanish guitar player from Britain, has joined our writing/editing team.

Jason Carter plays a fusion of flamenco, jazz and classicalguitar. He was trained under John Williams and Paco Pena at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Some of his solo performances took place in Bahrain, Belgium, Finland, France, Holland, India, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the USA. Jason played with the Orchestra of the Royal Marines, New Irish Orchestra, Belgium Radio Choir and others. He co-founded the ‘Bahrain International Guitar Festival.’ This year Jason received a Music Award from the Crown Prince of Bahrain alongside fourArab Artists. In 2001 he performed the ‘Concerto de Aranjuez’ to celebrate the centenary of the composer’s life, Joaquin Rodrigo. This was performed in Finland, Ireland and the UK. He has also recorded ‘Boccherini Guitar Quintets’ with the Bingham String Quartet.

* Fawzi Habboushe [subscriber], music director and conductor of the Philadelphia Doctors' Orchestra, has participated in a workshop focusing on conducting in the Czech Republic between Nov 29 and Dec 9. The activities included rehearsals of Beethoven symphony # 2, Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espaniole, Copland's Outdoor Overture, DeBussy's Afternoon of a Faun, Strauss's Polka and Donna Diana's Overture of Resnicek. A concert with the Karlsbad symphony orchestra concluded the workshop.


2. INSO Tour Update from Seattle by Denis Morrison

We are still looking for someone who can write a grant proposal to solicit funds for the INSO project. Currently, we have no funds to pay for a grant writer so that person would have to be able to look at including his/her fee within the grant proposal itself. Our hope initially wasto find someone with that skill to donate that ability.

As a side effort to the funding, a draft letter was sent to Hans Von Sponeck, former UN Humanitarian Aid Coordinator to Iraq; which if he agrees to its content, it will be sent to the two Washington State Senators asking for their support of the INSO project for Seattle. While visiting in Seattle, Mr.Sponeck was presented with the background of our intent with the INSO project and he was extremely supportive of the idea. He requested the draft letter be sent to him and we're hoping that he finds it acceptable.
3. 'History of Music Documentation in Iraq'
by Bassim H. Petros [W/E Team]

For over three decades, the Iraqi media (press, periodicals, TV and radio) have contributed in the publishing of musical articles and journals. Among the leading writers were:
1 Asa'ad Mohammed Ali, 2 Abdul Wahab Belal, 3 Adel El-Hashimi, 4 Abdul Wahab El-Sheikhli,
5 Soua'd El-Hermizi, 6 Bassim H. Petros, 7 Hussein Qaddouiri, 8 Hamdi M. Saleh, 9 Hameed Yasin.

During the 1980s and 1990s, writers such as Tarek Hassoon Fareed and Adel Al-Hashimi became among the major contributors in the music documentation process. For the INSO concerts and relevant program literature booklets, the major contributors were Ghazi Mustafa Bahjet, Mazin El-Zahawi, Munther J. Hafeth, Bassim H. Petrosand Hamdi Qaddouri. The World of Music, the first TV program of its kind,was established in 1974, as a weekly one-hour program, by both Munther J. Hafeth and Bassim H. Petros. They both hosted it for over a year, and then was continued by Father Phillip Helayee (Music Scholar), Abdul Razaak Al-Azzawi and Tarek Hassoon Fareed. During the second half of the 90s, Sultan Al-Khateeb (a young pianist, graduated from the Music and Ballet School, Baghdad) and Ali Abdul Amir (a journalist) hosted another musical TV program called 'Music Music'.

Musical conferences and festivals were regularly held and/or hosted in Baghdad, and other towns in Iraq. The National Symphony Orchestra used to give concerts in Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk, Erbil, Suleymania, Nassiriya and Basra with lectures presented prior to many of the performances. Special concerts were organized for Students Summer Popular Work Camps, universities and disabled rehabilitation centers.

Al-Kithara, Music and Children: Monthly magazines were published in 1975 by the Musical Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture and Information. Al-Kithara's Editor-in-Chief was Munir Bashir. Bassim H. Petros (currently living in NZ) was the magazine's editor and Munther J. Hafeth and Hussein Qaddouri (both living in Iraq) were its editing team. The Arabic Music Magazine (of the Arab Academy of Music "Al-Majma'a Al-Arabi Lil-moseeqa" of the Arab States League) was published in 1982. The first six issues were edited by the late Dr. Sinan Sa'eed. Then continued to be edited by Bassim H. Petros with Munir Bashir asEditor-in-Chief. The first 11 issues of the Arabic Music Magazine were published and printed in Baghdad. Later, four other issues were published outside of Iraq:

* One published in Sudan (studies on the Pentatonic Music),

* Another issue published in Morocco, and

* Two issues published in Syria..

Since 1997, the magazine has been published in Amman (where the Academy's new Secretary General Kifah Fakhouri). Five issues were released since then.National and international musical conferences and festivals were regularly held and/or hosted in Baghdad, which were organized and sponsored by the Iraqi National Music Committee of the International Music Council - Unesco. The committee was composed of Munir Bashir (president), Munther J. Hafeth (vice-president), Bassim H. Petros (secretary general), with other music documentors such as Hussein Qaddouri, Dr. Subhi Anwar Rashid and others.As a result, the musical culture gained an adequate level ofdocumentation in Iraq, third after politics and sports, whichis perhaps a common rank of subject importance worldwide.


4. 'History of the INSO' by Wafaa' Al-Natheema [W/E team] Part 2
Mostly based on documents published by the Ministry of Culture and Information, and made available by Bassim H. Petros

In 1959, the Orchestra became officially known as the IRAQI National Symphony Orchestra (INSO), whereby musicians began to earn monthly stipend. Before that year, all musicians usedto perform on a volunteer bases. Due to Iraq's instability during the 1960s, the Orchestra was shut down a couple of times.

In 1971, it was reopened and continued its activities and performances till the present day.Since its establishment in the 1940s, the INSO has had twenty-two (Iraqi and foreign) conductors (their names will be enlisted in future issues)

TheOrchestra did not just perform classical pieces by European composers, it had also played symphoniccompositions by Iraqi musicians. Among them were Farid Allahwerdi, Munther J. Hafeth, Munir Bashir, Hanna Petros, Khalil Ismael, Beatrice Ohannissian, Agnes Bashir, Hussein Qaddouri, Mohammed Ra'oof and others.
To be continued............
5. A Special New Year Message from Wafaa' Al-Natheema

On December 24, I sent all this list's subscribers a note and a Eid greeting card. For those who did not open the musical card, I enclose its English message below wishing you all a happy New Year filled with peace of mind. May it will be the year in which we experience the INSO live in the USA and/or South Africa.

'If you wish to be happy for an hour, take a napIf you wish to be happy for a day, go fishingIf you wish to be happy for a month, travelIf you wish to be happy for a year, get marriedIf you wish to be happy for life, help others'

Chinese Proverb


'There is more to life than to increase its speed'



'Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.' Jalalu~ddine Rumi (born in Afghanistan)


May you overcome your fears and be in THAT FIELD.

The INSO Writing/Editing Team:
Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]Jason Carter, Guitarist [UK]
Munther J. Hafeth, Composer, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Violinist, Journalist [South Africa]
Salem A. Kareem, Composer & Oud player [UAE]
Beatrice Ohanessian, Composer, Pianist (INSO) [USA]
Bassim H. Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Al-Natheema, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]

INSO Monthly Newsletter

November, 2001

Episode 2

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In this episode:

1. News

2. 'A Violin & A Trip' by Andrew Jones [W/E Team]

3. History of the INSO translated into English by Wafaa' Al-Natheema [W/E Team]

4. Inquiry about M. E. composers by Nabil Azzam [Subscriber]

5. Announcement by George Michael [Subscriber]


1. News

* Recently, we learned that Iraqis are now able to get on the Internet in the convenience of their home or office, something that was unavailable before. We received our first email three days ago from Nahla Jajo in Baghdad, a violinist and one of INSO's writing/editing team. We were informed by her that the INSO just gave a performance in October. We await her report about the concert. The availability of the email service in Baghdad will make it easier for us to receive their reports, news and articles, not to mention it enables us to planand organize better for the tour sake.

* We are proud to announce that the famous Iraqi pianist and composer, Beatrice Ohanessian, had just joined our writing/editing team. Until we receive her credentials and article in December, we will introduce her with a brief background provided by BassimH. Petros:
Beatrice Ohanessian was born in Baghdad in 1930, where she started her early piano training at the age of 7. In 1937, she entered the Music Institute where she was accepted regardless of her age condition. She studied there all through 1944 under Prof. Julian Herts (Romanian). Upon graduation in 1944, she was appointed as piano teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts. On a scholarship grant, Beatrice proceeded with higher studies at the Royal Music Academy in London. Ms. Ohanissian was granted another scholarship to study at the Juliard School of Music in New York. Stay tuned for more.
2. 'A Violin & A Trip -- Performing in Baghdad'

By Andrew Jones

It’s hard to remember the day, but I know it was hot in downtown Baghdad. I had found out about the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO) through my association with Layla Al-Attar, who was the Director General of Arts.

In 1993, Ms. Al-Attar and her husband were at a family member's house when they were killed by a cruise missile. Their house had been hit in January 1991 and destroyed. But at that time, they weren't home. Layla made a phone call and got me an invitation to a rehearsal. I was looking forward to it eagerly and would have been even more eager had I not lost my violin on the way over from the States. As it happened, my Lufhansa flight to Frankfurt and Rome had left early because of thunder storms. I had had my violin repaired. Unfortunately my partner was bringing it to the airport from the repair shop when he got stuck in traffic. So my violin missed the flight. He sent it via the next flight but that one was late because of the same group of storms. So by the time it arrived, my connecting flight had left already. So there I was about to take a video of the INSO and all I could think of was that my violin wasn't there with me.
I remember they were playing Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, a piece my own ensemble in the States had performed. They played very well.

After completing their rehearsal, one of the musicians approached me and started asking me questions. Yes, I am a musician, I said. My instrument?, the violin. He immediately grabbed one of the violinists, and spoke to him in Arabic. After which the young man politely handed me his violin. Now I didn't know everyone was watching this until I put my camera down, took up the instrument and this huge silence came over the hall. First, I played theA and E strings to see how well in tune they were. I sharpened the A string a bit to create perfect fifths. Because I changed the tuning of the A string, I had to raise the pitch on the D and G strings. Then, I listened again to all four strings and decided that they were in tune. I played a four octave D major arpeggio and a bit of Bach. When I finished all musicians applauded. Later I was able to perform in concert with the Baghdad Chamber Music Ensemble, a group made up of the principal players in the INSO.

In rehearsals as well as during our concert at the Saddam Arts, to say they played me into the dirt is an understatement. The concertmaster, Aram Zarassian, had studied in Russia and so had the cellist and a few of the others. Their training had been first rate and their playing was masterful whereas my performance was competent at best. But I was pleased for having the chance to do something other musicians wouldn't have had the chance to do so, perform in Baghdad at the Saddam Arts Center. Ms. Al-Attar and her husband attended the concert and they both were proud of me and their own musicians.

After the concert, I promised the musicians that I would help them come to the States and perform. Little did I know how difficult that was to accomplish here in the States, but I never forgot that promise. Now that I live in South Africa, I can and will do my best to arrange for them to tour here. I did eventually recover my violin in the lost and found department at Lufthansa Airlines in Frankfurt. The agent swore they didn't have it, but I insisted they did. After two hours of arguing and searching, I found it. Having survived such circumstances, I am interpreting this as some kind of an omen for what lies ahead. I took it as a sign and intend toplay it with members of the INSO when they come to South Africa.


3. History of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO) Part 1

Translated to English by Wafaa' Al-Natheema

From documents published by the Ministry of Culture and Information, compiled and made available by Bassim H. Petros

The Music Institute was established in 1936. It was then when music lovers began to meet at the Institute to listen to classical music both live and recorded. Five years later, The Music Institute was renamed the Institute of Fine Arts whereby a Chamber Orchestra formulated. The Orchestra,which consisted of string instruments, gave its first performance in 1941.

It was conducted by Hanna Petros at the Royal College of Medicine.In 1948, The Baghdad Philharmonic Society was founded in affiliation with the Institute of Fine Arts. This Society, then, formed the Baghdad Philharmonic Orchestra, which was composed of volunteers. The Orchestra gave three performances; two in Baghdad at the hall of the Institute of Fine Arts and at the King Faisal Hall, and a third in Kerkuk (North of Iraq).

In 1959 during the leadership of Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qasim, the Orchestra became officially known as the IRAQI National Symphony Orchestra (INSO). It was then when it became an official-paid Orchestra and continued so to this day.
To be continued......................


4. Inquiry about Middle Eastern Composers[Please respond to Nabil Azzam directly regarding his inquiry and CC it to our address, so that we share the information with the list.]"

Greetings: I wonder if you have any printed material regarding symphonic works by composers from the Middle East. I am very much interested in the subject since I work with Mesto (an orchestra based in Los Angeles) Best, Nabil Azzam"


5. Announcement by George Michael.

Looking for a voice private tutor in Massachusetts. Pleaseforward my announcement to other music lists which youknow of.If you or someone you know who is a professional voice tutor, please forward your/their contact information to George at


The INSO Writing/Editing Team:

Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]
Munther J. Hafeth, Composer, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Violinist, Journalist [South Africa]
Salem A. Kareem, Composer & Oud player [UAE]
Beatrice Ohanessian, Composer, Pianist (INSO) [USA]
Bassim Hanna Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Al-Natheema, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]

INSO Monthly Newsletter
October 26, 2001
Episode 1

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In this episode:
1. Remarks by Bassim H. Petros [Writing/Editing (W/E) Team]
2. Article by Munir Allahwerdi [W/E Team]
3. Announcement by George Michael [Subscriber]

1. Remarks on the INSO and Classical Music for Brainstorming
by Bassim H. Petros

The objective of the writing team for the INSO list is to introduce the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra's history, music and activities. In doing so, I would like to point out the following:

1. There is no western symphonic music in musicology; this type of music is unique. Therefore it’s sufficient to refer to it as symphonic music.

2. The INSO was the fruit of collaboration, it did not materialize due to a single person's initiative.

Should we seek to lay a case study about the INSO, I would suggest:

1 Few lines of INTRODUCTION: Symphonic Music in Iraq.

2 The Role of the Music Institute (1936 – 1940) in the formation of Classical Music Groups (Bands, smaller groups, solo players, etc.),

3 The founding stone of the first (string) orchestra introduced by the Fine Arts Institute before 1946, which presented its very first, but only one, concert at the Royal College of Medicine in
Baghdad (according to available documentation).

4 Then reaching the solid phase starting from the Baghdad Philharmonic Society (as an orchestra comprised of volunteers), to the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra as an official-paid orchestra, which is still so to this very day.

Musically, we need to focus on the literature presented by
the INSO, including Iraqi and Arabic music specially composed
and presented by the Orchestra.

A Personal Account
By Munir Allahwerdi

Munir, for heaven´s sake let us stop this “Monkey Business” (somehow some friends took me as a focal point in matter related to the Orchestra.)

With countless number of complaints, I was asked by friends at the Fine Arts Institute to leave them alone and refrain from persuading them to come to an orchestral rehearsal. They complained because I was putting them on the spot; making a difficult choice of either saying NO to a noble idea or agreeing to continue with the frustration of having to come to rehearsals without the basic ingredients of an orchestra. Eligible players for certain instruments
did not even exist in Iraq and recruiting them from abroad by the Government was not financially feasible. No real orchestra was in sight.

But we don´t have an oboe player! "Well," I said, "I can play the solo oboe part on my clarinet when the clarinet part is not so important and it could be easily sacrificed." The idea was to
introduce symphonic music live to the Iraqi public which was unavailable to them. By symphonic, I mean orchestral diversity; strings, woodwinds, brass and precessions. Who would care if instead of oboe a theme is played on the clarinet? So I would play the opening themes in both movements of Schubert´s Unfinished Symphony on the clarinet instead of oboe and when
that should be followed by the solo clarinet, it is me again on the clarinet itself.

But we don´t have a Bassoon player! "Come on fellows, that is very easy," I said, "I will play the Bassoon solo opening passage for Haydn´s Symphony "The Clock" on the lower register of my clarinet which sound´s quite like Bassoon." I also told them that there is no need to worry anymore. The army has just discharged a player from its Royal Guards Band into retirement and we could hire him for the job at the Institute as an “Office Boy”. He plays the Euphonium (a small Tuba). He shall be able to play the Bassoon parts on the
Euphonium. "Just be patient!"

But you, Munir, are doing all of this in order to enjoy the opportunity to play all the solo passages and have us the string players accompany you one viola player concluded. Of course I enjoyed playing the solo parts. Why do we play music anyway? By then, a glimpse of hope for real woodwind players to join us appeared on the horizon. During my coffee breaks while working as an engineer at the British firm Stephen Lynch, I visited my friend Arshak who had a tailoring shop on Rasheed Street. In that shop, a man sitting quietly on a chair busy mending holes in used clothes, was introduced to me as a talented flute player. His name was
Dikran Kousoudjian. I proposed that he comes to our next rehearsal. He was grateful for the pleasure of playing and didn't mind that it was compensation free. Dikran turned out to be an excellent professional musician (Flutist) who, according to rumors, fled Cyprus to hide in Iraq. With Dikran, the orchestra got a quantum jump ahead.

In a similar way, I enlisted a Spanish contrabass player named Valieri who was a music Academy graduate from Madrid playing with a cabaret band temporarily stationed in Baghdad. He played with us for about a year for free. Both of us used to ride my old Packard car to go to rehearsals. He left Iraq with his Band at the expiration of their residence permit leaving behind his instrument and his pupil, myself, whom he taught also free of charge. We gave him a thank-you gift of 20 Iraqi Dinars for the instrument. The money came from our subscriptions to the
Baghdad Philharmonic Society of which I was the Secretary.
I played the contrabass for nearly a year until my good friend and a keen follower of the development of the orchestra, Jawad Selim, decided to act. His wife, Lorna, was already playing second violin occupying the chair next to Fuad Michu. Fuad was always the leader of the second violin section because he was the most reliable in that group with regard to keeping time. Jawad Salim, who was aware of my long term plans to leave Iraq to study abroad, wanted to secure a contrabass player to replace me. Since he played the guitar, we decided that I give him lessons on the contrabass. He learned quickly and did not waste time. We wanted to share our pleasant experiences with our friends and the society. We believed the most effective way would be to have them witness a live symphonic concert, and we did indeed succeed in converting people to music lovers.


3. Announcement by George Michael:
Looking for a voice private tutor in Massachusetts. Lessons
must take place in the evenings and/or the weekends.
If you or someone you know who is a professional voice tutor,
please forward your emails to George at:

The INSO Writing/Editing Team:Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]
Munther J. Hafeth, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Journalist, Violinist [South Africa]
Salem A. Kareem, Composer & Oud player [UAE]
Bassim Hanna Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Salman, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]


The Writing/Editing Team
As of September 2001

Salem Abdel Kareem, United Arab Emerites (UAE)Born in Baghdad in 1953. Mr. Abdel Kareem is a graduate of theCenter for Musical Studies. He is a Oud player, composerand teacher. Since 1976, he has been given solo performances inside and outside of Iraq. Salem accompaniedthe Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO) on the Oudin 1976, 1980 and 1993. He is a composer of more than 250 musical pieces. He established several music groupsincluding the Oud Ensemble, which was comprised of 48Oud players. His last position before leaving IRAQ was Dean of the Center of Musical Studies. He currently lives,composes and teaches in the UAE.

Munir Allahwerdi, [Former INSO Musician] Austria
Born in Basra, Iraq in 1926. Joined the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad in October 1942. Performed in many chamber music and orchestral concerts in Iraq as well as on radio and TV from 1945 and on mainly as solo clarinetist and sometimes as contrabassist. Created the first clarinet class and taught the instrument at the Fine Arts Institute. Graduated as civil engineer from the Engineering College and as clarinetist from the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad 1948. Earned Master's of Science from the State Univercity of Iowa. Worked as the head of the Arab States unit at the UN Financing System for Science and Technology for Development 1980-1985. In 1985, Munir retired in Vienna where he formed a group of chamber music players from various well-known orchestras and performed in Vienna and in Finland.

Munther J. Hafeth, [Current INSO Musician] IRAQ
Born in Baghdad, in 1933. He completed his musical studies at the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad in 1955. Mr Hafeth joined the Viola section of the Institute Orchestra in 1949. He was one of the founding members of the Hydn String Quartet. Munther proceeded with higher musical training in UK in 1950s. With Bassim Petros, he foundedthe program [World of Music] which aired weekly on Baghdad TV.From 1974 to 1992, he was vice president of the Iraqi National Music Committee of the International Music Council (IMC)He is a member and administration director of the Arab Academy of Music (AMA) of the Arab League and an editorial member of the Arab Music Magazine of the AMA. Mr. Hafeth was leading composer throughout the lst three decades of the 20's century.

Nahla A. Jajo, [Current INSO Musician] IRAQ
Born in Kirkuk, north of Iraq in 1970. Started her music studiesat the Music and Ballet School in Baghdad at the age of six. She received a diploma in music from the same school in 1988. Began playing violin with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra in 1992. Nahla has been teaching the violin at the Music and Ballet School since 1994. A member of the Somer Chamber Music from 1994 to 1998 and currently a member of the Baghdad Music Group. In 1991, she obtained a B.S. in architectural engineeringfrom Baghdad University in Iraq. Worked with several architectural engineering firms in Iraq and Jordan. Currently, she is workingin interior design in Baghdad as an independent contractor.

Andrew P. Jones, South Africa
Born in Virginia, USA in 1952. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University. As a violinist, Mr. Jones has performed with the Opera Company of Boston, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the String Reunion in New York, The New Hampshire Symphony andothers. He has also performed with famous artists including Stevie Wonder, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Tom Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Sammy Davis Jr. A highlight of Andrew's musical career was a 1991 invitation to perform with the Baghdad Chamber Ensemble at the Saddam Arts Centre in Baghdad. He has been a broadcast journalist covering news for ABC, NBC, the BBC, WDR German Television, The Canadian Broadcast Company and other networks in S. Africa and Russia. Currently, he works as a filmmaker and a guest lecturer in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bassim H. Petros, [Former INSO Musician] New Zealand
Born in Baghdad in 1934. Joined the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad in 1947 to study 'Cello under Sherrif Muhi_ddin Haydar (Turkish), Hagob Kouyoumidjian (Iraqi) and Adres Taurrer (French) Joined the Baghdad Philharmonic (INSO later on) in 1948 as a Cellist. Established and presented with Munther J. Hafeth the-first-of-its-kind Baghdad TV weekly program (The World of Music). Bassim is a member of the Iraqi National Music Committee (INMC), the International Music Council (Unesco), the Arab Academy of Music (of the Arab States League) and the Iraqi Artists Union. Bassim has been part of Arab music festivals, conferences and rostras. For five years, he worked at the National Music Conservatory in Amman as Cello and Contrabass teacher and as a member of its orchestra and band.

Wafaa' Al-Natheema, The United States of America (USA)

Wafaa' Al-Natheema is the moderator of the INSO email list. For more on her credentials, visit