Nawras Altaky

Nawras Altaky is a vocalist, Ud player, composer and improviser based in Utrecht the Netherlands. Born in 1995 in “ As-Suwayda ”, or the Druze mountain of south Syria. In his compositions and performances, he explores world music through interdisciplinary collaborations and intercultural projects, next to performing a varied repertoire of classical, traditional, modern, experimental and world music. NRC: “Altaky distinguished a warm baritone voice with which he can sing breathtakingly, colourful, softly and effectively build tension through a sublime sense of timing.”

As a composer, Nawras expresses the strong connection between the different musical cultures he experiences such as Arabic and Western music. All merged in a virtuosity of contemporary and modern compositions flavoured with the beauty of Arabic melodies, the freedom of jazz harmonies and the power of classical counterpoint. His inspiration is mostly driven by his values such as, freedom, humility, honesty, love and joy. Altaky supports his message delivery with text, visuals and performance arts. As a performer Altaky shared the stage with Caro Emerald, Ellen Ten Damme, Oene van Geel, Janne Schra, Tony Roe and many other wonderful artists.

He was chosen as one of the most promising classical musicians in The Netherlands and Belgium for the next decade by the Dutch Newspaper NRC In may 2021 Nawras premiered five compositions varied in style for a mini orchestra at the Music Meeting festival – Vrije geluiden vpro. Nawras sees himself as an activist and a change maker. In March 2020 he wrote the song SOS Moria to help and safe 500 children in the refugee camp Moria. The composition was played as solidarity action all over The Netherlands by different artists and by church bells. Also commissioned by the Grachtenfestival he premiered the composition “Labels Are Not Our Names” in Paradiso Amsterdam on the 15th of August 2021.

Under the theme Listen! Music as a protest, he wrote this manifesto-composition that protested against labelling, dehumanisation and thinking in boxes. Performed for, Le Guess who, International Music Meeting, North See Round Town, Grachten Festival, Wonderfeel festival, Tweetakt, Djemaa el Fna, The Parade, Gaudeamus, On The Roof and more. Performed in, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Paradiso, Bimhuis, TivoliVredenburg ( Grote zaal, Hertz, CloudNine, Ronde and pandora), Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, De Meervaart, Theatre Walhalla, Stadsschouwburg Leiden, Splendor, Kleine Komedie, Luxor Theater and more. In 2017 he formed his own band Dyar (which means home in Arabic) together with Lucas Dols (double bass), Modar Salama (percussions) and Ghaeth Almaghoot (clarinet).

Foto: Lisanne Lentink