August 24, 2018 - 8:30 pm

Lebanese composer, singer and musician, Charbel Rouhana is one of the few masters who shaped the Arab lute and its techniques.


In 1990 he won the first prize of the Hirayama Competition in Japan for Best Composition entitled “Hymn of Peace”, in 2000 he won the “Murex d’Or” as the Musician of the year, in 2007 he conducted and arranged the BBC3 World Music Awards winning Album of 2007 “ Al Muwashahat” and in 2011 he was selected to participate at the Babel Med musical forum. Rouhana has composed various compositions for the famous dance group “Caracalla” and has performed with Marcel Khalife at numerous concerts and tours. Other musicians he has accompanied include stellar names such as Fairuz or Magida El Roumi.
In 2007 he formed the Beirut Oriental Ensemble.

Charbel Rouhana established a new method in playing the oud. This method was published in seven volumes and was adopted by the National Conservatory of Music in Lebanon and the Faculty of Music in the Holy Spirit University, where he has been teaching since 1986. The reputation of Charbel Rouhana and his international performances have made him an ambassador for Lebanese and Middle Eastern music: Festival Francophonies Métissées (Paris, 2001), Oud Festival (Tetwan, Morocco, 2000), Festival Novart (Bordeaux, France, 2003), Concert with Satoru Shionoya Unit (Tokyo, 2004), World Expo 2010 (China), Jazz Festival (Dubaï, 2010), International Beirut Jazz Festival (Beirut, 2010).

His versatility has allowed him to not be restricted by his oriental roots; instead he continuously offers his audience concerts something new that is open to improvisation.

For his unique performance at Byblos International Festival, Charbel Rouhana will be accompanied by 25 musicians and chorists to pay tribute to one of the all-time greats of the region: Sayyed Darwish.

Considered by many as the father of modern Arab music, Darwish is an icon and a musician who symbolizes progress, modernity and a shift from the oriental sounds to create a unique sound that is truly his own. After a period spent working with popular troupes, starting in 1918, Darwish worked with Naguib Al-Rihani and Badi’ Khayri. The social and political conditions surrounding the 1919 Revolution contributed to the popularity of operettas produced by the trio, such as “Al-‘Ashra Al-Tayyiba”. He also worked for Ali El-Kassar,and collaborated with renowned singer and actress Munira El-Mahdiyya, for whom he composed comical operettas like “Kullaha Yumayn”.

Darwish’s output was prolific, including 26 musicals as well as about 260 songs. Today, such songs as “Salma Ya Salama”, “Zuruni Kull Sana Marra” or “Al-Hilwa Diy Qamit Ti’gin” are sung throughout the Arab world and have been reorchestrated for Fayrouz and Sabah Fakhri.