BECHARA EL-KHOURY (b 1957 )
Bechara El-Khoury was born in Beirut in 1957 and started his musical studies in Lebanon, moving in 1979 to Paris for study with Pierre-Petit, then Director of the École Normale de Musique. The televised gala concert of his works on 9 December 1983 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris with the Orchestre Colonne conducted by Pierre Dervaux, to mark the centenary of the Lebanese-American philosopher and poet Khalil Gibran, proved ground-breaking in El-Khouryʼs career. In 1987 he took French nationality.
Bechara El-Khoury spent his earlier years during the war in Lebanon. In memory of this dark period he composed a musical trilogy (Symphonic Poem No. 1 ʻLebanon in Flamesʼ, the Requiem ʻAux martyrs libanais de la guerreʼ [Naxos 8.557691] and the Symphony ʻThe Ruins of Beirutʼ [Naxos 8.557043]).
His works have been played by leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de Paris, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Chamber orchestra, the Basler Kammerorchester and the Hallé orchestra, among others, with conductors including James Conlon, Pierre Dervaux, Daniel Harding, Martyn Brabbins, Kurt Masur, Jean- Claude Casadesus, Daniele Gatti, Paavo Järvi and Jiří Bělohlávek.