Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Culture is set to issue a license for its first institute of music. Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, announced the news at a tribute concert in honor of Abu Bakr Belfkih, reigning as the “golden voice” of the Arab world for over 50 years of musical success.
At the Riyadh concert, it was the late Abu Bakr that made a special appearance and performed his song, “Ma Alina” via hologram technology, for the audience at the King Fahd Cultural Center.
A number of current Arab stars also performed renditions of Abu Bakr Belfkih’s music including, Mutref Al-Mutref, Fuad Abdel, the Kuwaiti performer Nabil Shuail, and artists such as Ali bin Mohammed, Rabeh Sager, Abdallah Al-Rowaished as well as the late singer’s son Aseel.
Born in 1939 in Yemen, Abu Bakr Belfkih was a teacher before launching into a full time music career and moving to Lebanon in 1958, and then to Saudi Arabia in the mid 70’s. The Arab world sadly saw his last performance in Jeddah on Saudi National Day in September 2017, as he passed away 3 months later at the age of 78.
The announcement of the music institution in Saudi Arabia is the first of its kind and it comes as part of the country’s Vision 2030 plan set to boost the economy and cultural sectors. From sport and fashion to music, Saudi residents will no longer have to travel abroad to enjoy concerts, sporting events, cinemas and more with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority’s plans to encourage exciting cultural events and increase jobs for Saudi nationals.