Co-production: Bozar, National Orchestra of Belgium and Moussem
Direction: Dirk Brossé
National Orchestra of Belgium
Oud: Marcel Khalife
Arrangements: Marcel Khalife
Marcel Khalife is an UNESCO artist for peace. He was born on June 10, 1950 in Amchit, Lebanon. He studied the oud (the Arabic lute) at the Beirut National Conservatory of Music, and graduated in 1971. Eversince, he has been injecting a new life into the oud. With the National Orchestra of Belgium Khalife brings Suite Andalouse.
Oud playing was traditionally constrained by the strict techniques that governed its playing. Highly talented and skillful musicians such as Marcel Khalife were, however, able to free the instrument from those constraints and thus greatly expand its possibilities.
Khalife has performed in such prestigious halls as the Palace of Arts in Montreal, Symphony Space and Merkin Concert in New York, Berklee Theatre and New England Conservatory in Boston, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Royal Festival Hall, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, UNESCO Palace of Beirut, Cairo Opera House, Reciprocity, House of the Cultures of the World and UNESCO Hall in Paris, Central Dionysia in Rome, Yerba Buena in San Francisco, Sodra Teatern in Stockholm, Bozar in Brussels, Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Detroit Symphony Hall, Sydney Opera House, The Arts Centre in Melbourne, The Champs Elysees Theater in Paris and the Teatro Alla Scalla Milano.
He has composed several purely instrumental works like The Symphony of Return, Sharq, Concerto Al Andalus- Suite for oud and Orchestra, Arabian Concerto. a violin concerto, Caress, Diwan Al oud, Jadal Oud Duo and Oud Quartet, Al Samaa in the traditional Arabic forms and Taqasim, duo for oud and double bass which was awarded the Grand Prize of the prestigious Charles Cros Academy in France in November 2007. One of his recent works, Sharq, a choral symphonic composition, was performed by the Italian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Piacenza Choir. His latest work, Arabian Concerto, premiered at the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra inaugural concert and was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Champs Elysees Theater in Paris, Teatro Alla Scalla Milano, and the Royal Albert Hall in London, all under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel. His latest composition, Concerto for Rababa and Orchestra, was premiered by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) at the Opera House in Doha, Qatar under the baton of Maestro Thomas Kalb. Marcel Khalife’s symphonic compositions have be conducted by other world class conductors the likes James Gaffigan, Karl Heinz-Stephens, Vladimir Sirinko, Karl Martin, Nader Abbassi, Kristjan Jarvi, Amine Khouider, Misak Baghbodarian, Sian Edwards, Lorin Selest Fox, Evelinne Avillo, Cornelia Von Kersinbrook and Fernendaz Alverez.
His challenges, however, are not only musical in character. Interpreter of music and oud performer, he is also a composer who is deeply attached to the text on which he relies. In his association with great contemporary Arab poets, particularly Palestinian poet par excellence, Mahmoud Darwish, he seeks to renew the character of the Arabic song, to break its stereotypes, and to advance the culture of the society that surrounds it.
Marcel Khalife's lyrical and instrumental recordings add up to more than 20 albums and DVDs,
On his journey, Marcel Khalife invents and creates original music, a novel world of sounds, freed of all pre-established rules. This language elevates him to the level of an ambassador of his own culture and to the vanguard of Arabic music in search of innovators.