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Riyad Al Sunbati (1906 - 1981)


Riyad was first born son after 8 girls of a family of the city of farskor, Domyat, Egypt. later they moved to a different city called mansoura. His father Muhammad was a famous oud player and a singer.

The story tell that When he was in a tour he was taking riyad with him to various concerts, so he can teach him to sing. In order to teach riyad the art of oud playing, he also sent him to a very good instructor, named Mouhamad Shaaban. Riyad many times escaped from school, to a place where the adult were playing oud due to his love to its music. After he became widely knowed thanks to his oud and singing skills he was named as the "the canary of Mansoura".

Most of his work has done with the legendary Oum Kaltsoum which he firstly met in 1922. Riyad wrote his first song in 1928 and laterly he moved to al Kahira (cairo), and started to work as an oud teacher in a music school. At the year 1936 he wrote one of the most famous and knowed songs of oum Kaltsoum, which took part at the movie "take me to your city my love".

Riyad gave a new breath in the music of that time, like the combination along of the singer and chorus, he also placed accordion in the chorus, the piano, the mandolin, and wrote and composed songs according to European tempo, like the rumba, bolero waltz and tango. Riyad took the Arabic classical music to new peaks and levels, he gave a uniqe contribution and inspiration to millions of people all over the world with his taksims and compositions. Riyad passed away in 1981 leaving behind him a great work.