Following his early oud lessons, Adly relates, he studied intensively at the Arabic Oud House, a music school in Cairo, while pursuing a business degree at Assiut University, in his home town. He later worked as a music lecturer.
Also on Adly’s résumé: a busy teaching regimen via Skype. His School of Oud Online has reached fledgling players in at least 27 countries, including Norway, he says. Now that he is living in the Washington area, he dreams of founding a brick-and-mortar oud school.
“I’d love to add this instrument to American history,” he says.
On Aug. 28, noted oud player Ramy Adly appeared on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington, DC. The purpose of his performance was “to introduce the West to the oud” and to the beautiful sounds of this 4,000-year-old instrument. To showcase the oud for an American audience, Adly even performed a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” which while beautiful, felt slightly forced. He excelled most in musical styles for which the oud is most known, but the range of styles he was able to showcase can be viewed as an invitation to incorporate the oud into genres that may overlook the versatility of this ancient stringed instrument.
This year’s event was attended by 600 guests, represented officials from the World Bank, Congress, U.S. Department of State, diplomats and Arab-American communities and organizations. While enjoying Egyptian oud player and composer Ramy Adly and international Syrian Opera singer Lubana Al Quntar mesmerized the crowd with music and song.