Accomplished classical guitarist, music composer and arranger Gaby Al-Botros nurtures his passion for guitar by playing Flamenco, Jazz, Celtic, Folk, and Middle Eastern music. Throughout the span of his impressive career he has performed solo concerts, baroque ensembles, orchestras, with a focus on guitar ensembles. Creating a unique and fascinating fusion influenced by distinctive Middle Eastern melodies, Gaby has composed for solo guitar, guitar quartet, string quartet, and many other chamber ensembles.
Notable past performances include Vivaldi’s Concerto in G major with the Damascus Baroque Soloists and the Concierto Andaluz by Joaquín Rodrigo with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his classical music concerts, Gaby has performed with the Oud master Naseer Shamma and the virtuoso Brazilian guitarist Celso Machado. Working in the world music genre, he also arranged and recorded several compositions with the great Syrian composer and oud player Husam Numan.
In 2016, Gaby made his conducting debut with a performance of his own arrangement of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un gentilhombre featuring soloist Susan McDonald and a guitar orchestra. The Damascus Guitar Quartet, of which Gaby was a founding member, has paved the way for other musicians in Syria to form guitar ensembles. Gaby continued this work by co-founding the Orontes Quartet and this has helped to highlight the possibilities of the guitar as a concert instrument. The Orontes Quartet released their first album “The Clock” in 2016, which was recorded during the war in Syria, under sirens and bomb blasts. In 2019, the quartet received a fellowship grant from the Artist Protection Fund, a New York-based program that supports threatened artists around the world. They were hosted by the University of Victoria for one year during which they worked with Dr. Alexander Dunn. The quartet toured across Canada with over 30 concerts, including the Alberta Winter Games 2019 opening ceremony, and was featured in The Globe and Mail.
When not performing, Gaby is a guitar and music theory teacher who believes that a solid foundation in effective performance and musical communication should be a teacher’s first priority. As a guitar teacher and coordinator at Solhi Alwadi music school and a guitar teacher assistant at the Higher Institute of Music, Gaby was in high demand. Gaby worked as a teaching assistant for the renowned U.S. classical guitarist and composer Susan McDonald at the YES Academy in Lebanon. During his stay in Lebanon, Gaby developed a guitar curriculum for Syrian refugee students at Jusoor NGO.
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