Memorial evening in Sweden honors legacy of Syriac composer and musicologist Nouri Iskandar 40 days after his passing

ESKILSTUNA, Sweden — In a heartfelt tribute to the enduring legacy of Syrian Syriac–Assyrian composer and musicologist Nouri Iskandar, the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights organized a commemorative event in Eskilstuna, Sweden, marking the 40th day since his passing. The evening, dedicated to the spirit of the late artist, brought together community members and admirers to celebrate his profound contributions to Syriac music.

The event commenced with a warm welcome, followed by the screening of a documentary chronicling Iskandar’s life and artistic journey. The documentary featured poignant interventions by the kidnapped Archbishop Yuhanna Ibrahim and the late poet and writer Saad Saadi, offering insights into Iskandar’s profound impact on Syriac music.

Khuroyo Aphram Jello delivered an enlightening lecture on the significance of Syriac music and Iskandar’s invaluable contributions to its enrichment. Maan Haidar, Former Director General of the General Authority of Syrian Radio and Television, underscored Iskandar’s pivotal role in elevating Syrian music with his prodigious compositions, emphasizing the urgent need to preserve his artistic legacy.

Highlighting the negligence of Syrian official media towards Iskandar’s national stature, Haidar advocated for the recording and preservation of Iskandar’s works by UNESCO to safeguard them from loss and oblivion over time.

The evening featured poignant testimonials from writers and artists, offering heartfelt reflections on Iskander’s enduring influence. Jamil Diyar Bakirly, Director of the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights, lauded Iskandar as “The Eastern Syrian Syriac Ambassador to the World through His Music,” underscoring his indelible mark on Syriac and Syrian music history.

The program included performances of melodies notated by Iskandar, masterfully rendered by artist Ninib Abdul Ahad, eliciting profound emotions from the audience.

As the evening drew to a close, Raban Aphram Lahdo and Khuroyo Aphram Jello led a solemn prayer for the eternal peace of Iskandar’s soul, offering a fitting conclusion to the evening.