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Bechara El Khoury

Langue disponible : anglais
Lebanon-born Bechara El-Khoury, who took French citizenship in 1987, is among the preeminent contemporary composers with roots in the Arab world. Most of his works are symphonic pieces or piano concertos; he was trained as a pianist himself and is a formidable player. Bechara El-Khoury, not to be confused with the Lebanese prime minister of the same name, was born in Beirut on March 18, 1957. He was a prodigy as a composer, completing his first work when he was 12. Over the next decade he wrote some 100 works, as well as finding time for three volumes of poetry and a job as music director at St. Elias church in the Beirut suburb of Antelias. In 1979 he fled Lebanon's deepening civil war and settled in Paris. He took some composition lessons from composer Pierre Petit. El-Khoury quickly gained attention in France, and in 1983 the Erato label issued a double LP of his works. His music was also featured on a televised concert that year at theThéâtre des Champs-Élysées. His 1985 Symphony, Op. 37 ("Les Ruines de Beyrouth"), memorialized the tragedies of the war. El-Khoury's works have been performed in major concert halls in both France (the Salle Pleyel and the Salle Cortot in Paris) and elsewhere (the Cairo Opera House, Detroit's Orchestra Hall). Among his more noted works are Les Fleuves Engloutis, Op. 64, which had its premiere at the Barbican in London with the London Symphony Orchestra, and New York: Tears and Hope (2006), which commemorated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. El-Khoury served as composer-in-residence at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Switzerland, in 2009. His War Concerto was premiered in 2011 by the NDR Symphony Hamburg and violinist Daniel Hope. Since 2003, El-Khoury's works have been especially associated with the Naxos label. In the summer of 2019 a recording of his four piano sonatas appeared on that label, played by Giacomo Scinardo.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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