Gheorghe Zamfir, a Romanian pan flute musician – Photo courtesy of the official event’s Facebook Page.
CAIRO – 4 January 2018: Gheorghe Zambia, Romanian pan flute musician, will be – for the first time – mastering with his orchestra a delicate interpretation of the legendary Umm Kulthum’s music in addition to his significant hits at Cairo Opera House March 1.
Zamfir is the renowned author of many iconic movie soundtracks like “Once Upon A Time in America”, “Kill Bill” and “The Karate Kid” amongst others. His 160 International albums sold worldwide over 120 million copies and won 120 gold and platinum records.
Zamfir’s rose to stardom in the Western European countries through soloing in the original music for the western movie “Le Grand Blond Avec Une Chasseur Noire”.
He is known for playing an extended developed version of the traditional Romanian-style pan flute (nai) of 20 pipes to 22, 25, 28 and 30 pipes in order to increase its range, giving diverse tones from each pipe by changing the embouchure. Through loosening and contracting his embouchure, Zambia can produce nine tones from each pipe, according to Zambia’s biography on IMDb.
The living legend has been teaching pan flute in Bucharest for more than 10 years now. He also wrote an instructional book for the pan flute: "Traité Du Naï Roumain: Méthode de flûte de pan".
This performance is considered to be a world premier as it is an international honoring from the master of the pan flute Zamfir to the Middle East’s cultural icon Umm Kulthum, according to the official event’s description.
Umm Kulthum was not just an ordinary Egyptian singer who is known of her astonishing vocals, but she was one of the most illustrious Arab singers and public personalities in the 20th century due to her intellectuality and strong character.
She made the Arab world wait for her monthly concerts for many years. In these concerts she performed plentiful remarkable pieces which were also collaborations with the most prominent Arab musicians at that time such as the revered composer Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Wahhab.
It is worth mentioning that Zamfir has been to Cairo for two days last December to perform a concert under the title “Music against Cancer” in support of cancer patients, according to Zambia’s official page on Facebook.