The Kennedy Center

Issam Rafea



Biography

Syrian oud player Issam Rafea was born in Kuwait in 1971. Rafea studied in Kuwait and Syria at the High Institute of Music in Damascus and received his B.A. 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 the faculty of the Arab Conservatory where he teaches both oud and Western Harmony. Rafea is also an active composer and arranger for Syrian TV and theater. Among his awards are the fourth prize at the Cairo Improvisation Competition 2000, and second prize at the Traditional Arab Ensembles competition in Cairo, Egypt in 1997.
Issam Rafea