Ali Osman Alhaj (Arabic: علي عثمان; born 1958 in Omdurman, Sudan- deceased February 16, 2017 in Cairo) was a Sudanese composer of contemporary classical music. He was active in Egypt's contemporary music scene and a specialist of Sudanese music. He also played the guitar, drum kit, and double bass.
Growing up in Sudan, Ali Osman was a self-taught rock musician playing drums and guitar. Feeling he got to a point where he couldn't progress by himself, he planned to move to Canada but settled in Cairo in 1978 where he was supposed to get his Canadian visa. He studied with Gamal Abdel-Rahim, Bertold Hummel and Robert Woshborn at the Cairo Conservatoire (1978-1986), and learned the double bass with Rodney Slatford. He wrote a thesis on traditional Sudanese and Arabic music. He obtained a Bachelor of Music in composition and music theory, and a Master of Music in arts. He then post-graduated in analysis, counterpoint and music history with Awatef Abdel Karim (1986-1990).
He taught music at the Cairo Conservatoire since 1990, and at the Arabic Higher Institute of Music in Cairo since 1999.
In 2001, he became the artistic director and principal conductor of the Al Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) Orchestra which consists of visually impaired and blind women musicians. In 2000, he traveled to Switzerland where the Swiss Radio recorded his first full CD.
On March 30, 2002, he performed for the inauguration of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Ali Osman earned his PhD in 2009.
He died on February 16, 2017 in Cairo.
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