Nizar Rohana’s playing reveals a deep fascination with traditional Arabic music, but his wonderfully
original improvisations breathe the spirit of the 21st century. As a composer, he takes the unique
character of the Oud as the starting point but has developed a highly individual voice as well. Hinting
gently at a range of traditions that can never quite be identified, his music captivates listeners, sweeping
them on a kaleidoscopic journey of mesmerising fantasy.
Nizar Rohana was born in the village of ‘Esefya on Mount Carmel in 1975, and began playing music while
still very young. He discovered the Oud when he was 15, and in 1996 he moved to Jerusalem to study.
In 2001 he was awarded a Bachelor of Music and Arts (specialisms in Oud performance and Musicology)
from the Arabic Music Department of the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance and the Musicology
Department of the Hebrew University. For some time he then focused his work on the music of the
great Egyptian composer Mohammad Al-Qasabji, completing his Master’s degree in 2006.
Between 2001 and 2007 Nizar worked as one of the main Oud teachers at the Edward Said National
Conservatory in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem. He was the Academic Director of the Jerusalem
branch between 2003 and 2005 and also the Deputy of Academic affairs in the academic year 2006-
Nizar launched his first album "Sard" (Narration) in May 2008. Here he maintains an idiomatic language
for the Oud, yet achieves refreshing new expressions and rhythms through dialogues with Double Bass,
Qanoun and Percussion.
Since he became a professional performer Nizar has played regularly to local and international
audiences. He has gained wide experience on the stage as a soloist and within a range of groups, playing
traditional, modern, experimental and world music. During the last twelve years he has performed in
prestigious venues in countries such as Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, the USA and in Europe.
Today Nizar is a prominent Oud player on the Palestinian music scene and is finding international
acclaim for his imaginative playing.