Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Leading violinist Zouzou Moussa dies

Zouzou Moussa

One of the great performers of Arabic music in Israel, Zouzou Moussa, director of Israel Radio's Arabic Orchestra, has died, aged 86. In the 1990s, with his retirement from the orchestra and his wife's death, he began a process of repentance and performed only at religious events, according to Ynet News. (With thanks: Sylvia)

Zouzou Moussa, born Musa Josef Alkis, was born in Egypt and was a successful violinist in his homeland, appearing in films and accompanying the great singing star Abdel Wahab. He immigrated to Israel in 1956. With the founding of of the Arabic orchestra he joined the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. Over time it became Israel Radio's Arabic orchestra. Within a few years he took over from the band director, Ezra Aharon.

He ran the famous orchestra until his retirement in 1993. The orchestra was disbanded in the wake of his retirement. About this time began a process of repentance following his second wife's death. He appeared at events of a religious nature only. In an interview with Haaretz, he said: "In 2002, nine years after retiring from the radio, I've reformed. I play only holy words ".

Zouzou Moussa performs a solo. It is not clear if this video was made before Moussa embarked on his 'repentance phase'.

When the singer Faiza Rushdie, the star of the band, died, he said : "For over 40 years I accompanied one of the great singers. We were together almost every day. When I repented I said goodbye to Arabic poetry, but I never said goodbye to Faiza. We were friends, I visited
her in the nursing home where she lived. We lost a great singer, it is difficult to tear oneself away. "

Read article in full (Hebrew)

Article in Haaretz

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