Marcel Khalife, Composer, Singer, and Oud Player

Marcel Khalife, Composer

Watch "Marcel Khalife - Passport -جواز سفر - Jawaz al-Safar"

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     Marcel Khalife is a Lebanese composer, singer and oud player. 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, and, ever since, has been injecting a new life into the oud. 

     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 expanding its possibilities.

     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, Promises of the storm (1976), Rain Songs (1977), Where from, do I Enter the Homeland? (1978), Weddings (1979), At the Borders (1979), Stripped Bare (1980), Happiness (1981), The Bridge (1983), Collections – 3 Albums (1984), Dreamy Sunrise (1984), Ahmad Al Arabi (1984), Peace Be With you (1989), Ode To A Homeland (1990), Arabic Coffeepot (1995), Jadal oudDuo (1996), Magic Carpet (1998), Concerto Al Andalus (2002), Caress (2004), Voyageur DVD (2004), Taqasim (2007), Sharq CD & DVD (2007).

      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.

      In June 2005, Marcel Khalife was named UNESCO Artist for Peace for his artistic achievement and humanitarian contributions.

      In 2008, Marcel Khalife was worked with the Qatar Foundation and was instrumental in the establishment of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) and was named as its artistic director (2008-2010) and resident composer. He is also a member of the Board of Governance of the QPO.



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