Salman Shukur

Salman Shukur is a prominent figure in the world of Arabic music. He is an outstanding oud player, a professor of oriental music, a composer and a researcher who is well known both in the Arab world and internationally. Born in Baghdad in 1921, he studied the Oud and oriental music with the great oud player Serif Muhiddin Targan (also known as Sherif Muhiddin Haydar in the Arab world), Dean of the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad between 1936-1948. After his graduation, Shukur was appointed professor of oud and head of the Oriental Music Department in the Institute, posts which he occupied for 30 years. Several years ago he was appointed Artistic Advisor with the Iraqi Ministry of Information. Salman Shukur has done much research and study in the field of Arabic music of the Abbasid and subsequent eras. His interest in classical Arabic music was inspired by his professor and mentor, Serif Muhiddin Haydar, who was an outstanding oud and cello player. Salman Shukur is continually attempting to find the link between Arabic and Western music, as evidenced by his compositions for the oud, such as his quintet for oud and other string instruments entitled ‘Houris of the Mountain’, and ‘The Festival in Baghdad’, compositions hailed by researchers and critics in Baghdad and in several other countries. Salman Shukur gave several performances for Iraqi television and radio. He has also performed in China, Iran, Egypt, Germany, the UK and the USA. He worked on a concerto for the oud and other compositions in cooperation with the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra.

There is only one recording of Salman Shukur by Decca, Headline – you can hear this on the “Rare Recordings” page at

[Many thanks to Asim al-Chalabi for the above biographical information and the photo of Salman Shukur below.]