About JOSEPH TAWADROS
“One of the most impressive musicians to emerge in Australia … with a dazzling technique dispensing hair-raising tempos… His writing displays a real depth of emotion …revelling in a zest for life and celebration.” - The Australian
"He has taken the oud out of its traditional Middle Eastern setting and into the realms of classical, jazz and world music….with solos of thrilling intensity, spectacular beauty and unnerving emotion”. - Sydney Morning Herald
At 34, JOSEPH TAWADROS is well established as one of the world’s leading oud performers and composers. A virtuoso of diversity and sensitivity, Joseph performs in concert halls worldwide and is known for his brilliant technique, deep musicianship and joyously eclectic style of performance. Joseph is acknowledged for expanding the lute-like oud’s notoriety in mainstream western culture, and he has toured extensively internationally, headlining concerts in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.
Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1983, Joseph’s Coptic family emigrated to Australia when he was just three years old. Initially attracted to the trumpet, he decided to learn oud when he was eight. Classically trained, Tawadros completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of NSW, where he was awarded a Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.
A three-time ARIA Award winner (with an astonishing 12 nominations) Joseph released his first album Storyteller in 2004 on ABC Classics, quickly followed by Rouhani (’05), Visions (’06), Epiphany (’07), Angel (’08) and The Prophet (’09). In 2010 he recorded The Hour of Separation in New York with jazz heavyweights John Abercrombie, John Patitucci and Jack DeJohnette. His more recent albums include 2011’s Band of Brothers (with Slava & Leonard Grigoryan, and Joseph’s younger brother James Tawadros), Concerto Of The Greater Sea (with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra – ’12), Chameleons Of The White Shadow (with Bela Fleck, Richard Bona, Roy Ayers and Joey DeFrancesco – ’13), Permission To Evaporate (with Christian McBride and Mike Stern – ‘14), 2015’s Truth Seekers, Lovers & Warriors, and 2016’s phenomenal World Music, where Joseph played over 50 different instruments. His soon-to-be-released Live At Abbey Road, was recorded at the famed London studio, and again features his long-time collaborating brother James on percussion.
Joseph has also collaborated with such celebrated artists as Zakir Hussain, Sultan Khan, Neil Finn, Kate Miller-Heidke and Katie Noonan. He has performed and recorded with The Academy of Ancient Music in London, making him the first and only Australian composer whose music has been performed by that prestigious ensemble, and he regularly performs with the Sydney, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony orchestras.
Joseph was nominated for Young Australian of the Year in 2014, received the NSW Premier’s medal for Arts & Culture in the same year, and in 2016 was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (AM) for his services to music and composition.
In mid-2016 Joseph relocated from Sydney to London and now shares his time between the two cities. He is currently developing collaborations with UK and European performers, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in May this year he premiered his first ‘Concerto for Oud’ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
He’s also a very funny guy!
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