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Musical World

Abdel Rahman El Basha

  • Composer
  • Pianist


The Lebanese pianist and composer, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, was born in a family of musicians - his father was a well-known composer and his mother was a singer. He is a nephew of a famous painter. El Bacha remarked in an interview that his mother possessed a sharp ear for music without the ability to read it in written form, and that this taught him the importance of learning music by ear. By the age of 6 El Bacha could play the piano and at 9, in 1967, he began serious keyboard studies with Zvart Sarkissian, a pupil of Marguerite Long and Jacques Février. At the age of 10 he gave his first concert with an orchestra, performing the J.S. Bach's D minor Concerto.
At 13 he gave his first recital, at the American University of Beirut recital hall, before an audience that included embassy officials from France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. In 1973 Claudio Arrau predicted a great career for him and in 1974 he was offered a scholarship by France, the former USSR and the UK. He took up the French offer out of cultural affinity and in 1974 entered the Paris Conservatoire in the class of Pierre Sancan. He graduated with 4 first prizes: piano, chamber music, harmony and counterpoint.