Iraqi oud master & composer Rahim Alhaj honored with NEA National Heritage

Rahim AlHaj


Iraqi oud master & composer Rahim Alhaj honored with NEA National Heritage Fellowship

Awards Ceremony and Concert to take place in Washington DC in September

August 17, 2015 - Iraqi oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj has been named a 2015 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, the country's highest honor bestowed on Folk and Traditional Artists. The 2015 National Heritage Fellows will be honored in Washington, DC, at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress on Thursday, October 1, 2015 and a free concert on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. Concert tickets are first come, first served and will be available later this summer. The concert will also be webcast live at More information about these events will be available this fall.

Mr. AlHaj came to the US in 2000 as a political refugee, settling in Albuquerque, NM. He became an American citizen in 2008 and immediately filled out a voter registration card. In November 2008, for the first time in his life, he cast his vote—in the U.S. general election—an act that filled him with an almost giddy satisfaction and pride.

Since coming to the United States, AlHaj has released several recordings that have earned high praise, including a 2008 and 2010 Grammy® nomination. His compositions embrace a broad spectrum of musical genres, routinely and seamlessly marrying Eastern and Western traditions. In addition to solo recordings and performances, he works with a variety of musical companions, from jazz artists (Bill Frissell) and classical Indian maestros like (Amjad Ali Khan) to string quartets (Kronos Quartet). In December of 2009 Rahim was awarded a US Artist Ford Fellowship. He was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2008 and 2010. In 2015 Rahim was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship.

Today, AlHaj continues his journey of determined optimism, seeking to bring the world to a compassionate understanding of our shared destiny and to give the oppressed a voice for justice.

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article posted by:Tom Frouge, Avokado Artists / ¡Globalquerque!