A native of Damascus, Syria, Bassam studied with the late Isadore Tinkleman at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and subsequently with renowned professor Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music earning Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees.
After performing with the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, Mr. Nashawati joined the San Antonio Symphony’s first violin section in fall 1999 and held a position as an adjunct faculty at St. Philip’s College for several years. He particularly enjoys working with young students and performers, coaching and leading sectionals with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA).
Mr. Nashawati has appeared many times as a recitalist and soloist with the Syrian National Symphony in his native country performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto, which took him on a tour to the US in 1998.
Since 2004, Bassam has practically toured the world performing with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO) as Associate Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin. WEDO is an orchestra comprised of Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians, founded by world-renowned conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim and his friend the late Palestinian Edward Said, promoting peace and dialogue among its musicians. He rejoined the WEDO as recently as November of 2018 in another US tour that included a performance at Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Hall in L.A. among others.
Mr. Nashawati had the privilege to perform several chamber music concerts with Mr. Barenboim and members of Berlin Philharmonic including the concertmaster (at the time) Guy Braunstein, at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and at the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria. In addition to his involvement with WEDO, Mr. Nashawati has been part of the Palestinian National Orchestra since its founding year in 2011 and has toured with them in Indonesia, Jordan and the West Bank.
Bassam has also pursued a theological degree in Orthodox Christian Studies and has been serving as a deacon since 2005 at St. Ephraim Orthodox Church in San Antonio, Texas, of which he is a founding member.