Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Abdul Fatah Karim was a pioneering force in the development of Malaysia’s symphony orchestra curriculum. He was responsible for the formulation of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports music programmed and played an active role as a violin tutor to the earliest participants of these government initiatives.

Born in Kota Bahru Kelantan, on 10 February 1935, Abdul Fatah began his music studies in the violin under the tutelage of the late Abdullah Bohari. Furthering his music education abroad to the Royal Academy of Music in London, Abdul Fatah continued to study violin, as well as harmony and music conducting from 1967 to 1973.

Upon his return to Malaysia, Abdul Fatah served as a music lecturer at the Sultan Idris Teachers Collage, Perak from 1973, and was then posted to Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as a Director of Music in 1978.

While at the ministry, Abdul Fatah initiated numerous music projects, such as the National Music Camp, the ASEAN Youth Music Workshop, where he was appointed camp director and guest conductor at the inaugural workshop, and the World Youth Music Camp. Following a course on youth orchestras in the UK, Abdul Fatah set up the Orkestra Simfoni Muda in 1982 to nurture and groom the young music talents for the future Orkestra Simfoni Kebangsaan.

In recognition of his extensive contributions in the field of music, Abdul Fatah was awarded the Australian Cultural Award in 1977 and 1981, the ASEAN (Cultural Communication – literary Work) in 1990, and the Ahli Mangku Negara (AMN) by His Majesty The Yang Dipertuan Agong.

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