Joseph Tawadros Biography

Joseph Tawadros b. Cairo, Egypt. 1983

“One of the most impressive musicians to emerge in Australia … with a dazzling technique dispensing hair-raising tempos… His writing displays a real depth of emotion …revelling in a zest for life and celebration.” – THE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER

The origins of the oud lie in the ancient Arabic world but the music Joseph Tawadros conjures from it is forging a new music frontier. The virtuoso Sydney musician has transformed the way the fretless, round-backed string instrument is viewed, taking it out of its traditional Middle Eastern setting and into the realms of classical music and jazz. “I can improvise in a traditional style and play traditional music,” Tawadros says, “but I chose to bring something a little different and new to the oud.” Sydney Morning Herald, October 2012


  • 2016 has been been a huge year for Joseph  – starting in January, with him being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant contribution to Australian music.
  • He released his 13th album, ‘World Music’ to great acclaim and it was nominated for an ARIA award for Best World Muic Album 2016. The album launch/farewell Sydney show became 5 full-house events.
  • Highlights of Joseph’s 2016 schedule have included the National Folk Festival, Perth International Festival, Canberra International Music Festival and appearances in Brunei, East Timor, Manchester, London Manchester, Dusseldorf and Vienna.
  • Joseph is now based in London working on a special project with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for 2017.

At 33, Joseph Tawadros is established as one of the world’s leading oud performers and composers. A virtuoso of diversity and sensitivity, Joseph performs in concert halls worldwide and is known for his brilliant technique, deep musicianship and joyous style of performance.

His drive to push musical boundaries has led to many collaborations with significant performers and a solid repertoire of innovative, original music. He has recorded 13 albums – Storyteller, Rouhani, Visions, Epiphany, Angel, The Prophet: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Kahlil Gibran, The Hour of Separation, Band of Brothers, Concerto of the Greater Sea, Chameleons of the White Shadow, Permission to Evaporate, Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors and his latest offering World Music. Joseph has received 12 nominations and won three ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014 for Best World Music Album.

A resident of Sydney since 1986, Joseph was nominated for Young Australian of the Year in 2014, received the NSW Premier’s medal for Arts and Culture in the same year and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (AM) for his services to music and composition in 2016.

Joseph is acknowledged for expanding the oud’s notoriety in mainstream western culture and has also been recognised in the Arab world, appearing on the judging panel of the Damascus International Oud competition in 2009, and taking part in Istanbul’s first Oud festival in 2010.

He has toured extensively, headlining in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East, and has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Zakir Hussain, Sultan Khan, Béla Fleck, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Bona, Roy Ayers, Joey DeFrancesco, Howard Johnson, Jean Louis Matinier, Ivry Gitlis, Camerata Salzburg, Christian Lindberg, Neil Finn, The Grigoryan Brothers, Kate Miller-Heidke and Katie Noonan. He has performed and recorded with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Academy of Ancient Music in London, making him the first and only Australian composer whose music has been performed by this prestigious orchestra. He has regularly performed with the Sydney, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony orchestras.

In mid 2016 Joseph relocated from Sydney to London and shares his time between the two cities. He is currently developing collaborations with different UK and European performers including the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Concert schedule