Salman Shukur was born in 1921 in Baghdad, Iraq. He studied oud under Sharif Muhyi-ad-Din Haydar Targan, and became Professor of oud and the head of the Oriental Music Department at the Institute founded by Sharif Muhyi ad-Din, and held that post for 30 years. He was also Artistic Advisor for the Iraqi Ministry of Information. He performed frequently for Iraqi radio and television, and performed in concert in China, Iran, Egypt, Germany, England, and the United States. He has performed publicly as recently as 1997. He made only one full-length recording, for Decca Headline, “Salman Shukur – oud“, HEAD 16 PSI, recorded in Rosslyn Hill Chapel in London in 1976 by James Mallinson and Stanley Gooddall, notes by John Haywood, released in 1977, and a brief excerpt of his solo oud performance in Rast Iraq can be heard on the Tangent Record series Music In The World Of Islam: Lutes (re-issued by Topic Records).
Salman Shukur is a prominent figure in the world of Arabic music. He is an outstanding oud player, a professor of oriental music, a composer and a researcher who is well known both in the Arab world and internationally. Born in Baghdad in 1921, he studied the Oud and oriental music with the great oud player Serif Muhiddin Targan (also known as Sherif Muhiddin Haydar in the Arab world), Dean of the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad between 1936-1948. After his graduation, Shukur was appointed professor of oud and head of the Oriental Music Department in the Institute, posts which he occupied for 30 years. Several years ago he was appointed Artistic Advisor with the Iraqi Ministry of Information. Salman Shukur has done much research and study in the field of Arabic music of the Abbasid and subsequent eras. His interest in classical Arabic music was inspired by his professor and mentor, Serif Muhiddin Haydar, who was an outstanding oud and cello player. Salman Shukur is continually attempting to find the link between Arabic and Western music, as evidenced by his compositions for the oud, such as his quintet for oud and other string instruments entitled “Houris of the Mountain”, and “The Festival in Baghdad”, compositions hailed by researchers and critics in Baghdad and in several other countries. Salman Shukur gave several performances for Iraqi television and radio. He has also performed in China, Iran, Egypt, Germany, the UK and the USA. He worked on a concerto for the oud and other compositions in cooperation with the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra.