Wall of Fame

Charbel Rouhana

A Lebanese composer, singer and musician, Charbel Rouhana is one of the few masters who shaped the Oriental lute (or the ‘oud) and its techniques. In 1990, he won the first prize in the Hirayama Competition in Japan for Best Composition entitled “Hymn of Peace”, followed by the Murex d’Or Award in the Musician of the Year category in 2000. In 2007, he conducted and arranged “Al Muwashahat”, the winning album in the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music, and was chosen to take part in 2011 in the Babel Med Music Festival. In addition to composing various pieces for the famous dance troop Caracalla, he has performed with renowned Lebanese artist Marcel Khalife in several concerts and tours, and accompanied the likes of Fairuz, Magida El Roumi, and Julia Boutros. His notable performances, to name but a few, include appearances with Kiya Tabassian, Simon Chahine, Zakir Hussein, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Larry Coryel. In 2007, he formed the Beirut Oriental Ensemble.

Charbel’s new method of playing the lute was published in eight volumes and adopted by the National Higher Conservatory of Music in Lebanon and the Faculty of Music at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), wherein he has been teaching since 1986. A new edition of this method, titled Maqam Al Oud, was published in 2016 by the Saint Rafqa Institute of Music.

Thanks to his reputation and international performances, Charbel Rouhana has become an ambassador for Lebanese and Middle Eastern music all over the world, such as: the Festival Francophonie Métissée (Paris – 2001); Oud Festival (Tetouan, Morocco – 2000); Festival Novart (Bordeaux, France – 2003); concert with the Satoru Shionoya Unit (Tokyo – 2004); World Expo 2010 (China); the Jazz Festival (Dubai – 2010); International Beirut Jazz Festival (Beirut – 2010). Far from being restricted to his oriental roots, Charbel’s style treats his international audience to a symphony of colors, creativity, and erudition, which is rich in harmonies and open to improvisations.

In 2018, he performed at the Byblos International Festival his Tribute to Sayyed Darwish. Prior to that, he played at the Beiteddine Festival with Nasir Shamma in 2016, and composed the music for George Khabbaz’s play Rafqa in 2014. In 2013, he performed with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, and played Trait d’Union at the Beiteddine Festival with Romania’s Banatul State Philharmonic Orchestra in Timișoara, Romania. In 2012, he played the lute concerto (Marcel Khalifeh) with the Symphonic Orchestra Arad, and recorded Abdallah Masri’s Concerto for Oud with the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Valery Poliansky. He also performed with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra under German conductor Thomas Kalb.

Tarab Safar (2018); Ila Matta (2018); Passages (2017); Tashweesh (2014); Doux Zen (2010); The Handmade Concert (2009); Handmade (2008); Dangerous (2006); We Live (2006); Sourat Trait d’Union (2004); The Art of Middle Eastern Oud (2004); Mazaj Alani (2000); Mada (1999); and Salamat (1997).
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