Toufic Succar is a long-time professor of theory and the former principal of the conservatory in Beirut. Succar was born in Tripoli in 1922 and reconciling these two worlds has been a hallmark of his entire output. Succar has written string quartets not in major or minor modes, but in Arabian quarter-tone modes such as rast and bayati. He has developed polyphonic techniques for playing the ūd and qānūn, which are traditionally monophonic instruments. He has combined twelve-note sequences with oriental rhythms and has used folk themes discovered during his fieldwork in the villages and monasteries of his homeland in his symphony. This desire to unite East and West is already evident in his Variations sur un thème oriental, Op. 2, a charming early work that Succar composed in 1947 before going to Paris to study (with Olivier Messiaen, among others).