Abdel Rahman El Bacha

Piano

Biography

In June 1978, Abdel Rahman El Bacha won the Queen Elisabeth
International Competition by a unanimous judgment. He was also awarded the Audience Prize. He was only 19.

Born in Beirut in 1958 in a family of musicians , he started his piano lessons in 1967 with Zvart Sarkissian, a pupil of Marguerite Long and Jacques F?vrier. At the age of 10 he gave his first concert with an orchestra.

In 1973 Claudio Arrau predicted a great career for him and in 1974 he was offered a scholarship by France, the former USSR and Great Britain. He took up the French offer out of cultural affinity and entered the Paris Conservatoire in the class of Pierre Sancan. He graduated with 4 first prizes (piano, chamber music, harmony and counterpoint).
After the Queen Elisabeth Competition which launched him on the
international scene, he chose to bide his time in order to enlarge and further study his repertory. From that moment on, the musical press started comparing him to the greatest pianists, stressing the exceptional qualities of his playing and his emotional power. From the Salzburg Mozarteum to the Paris Th??tre des Champs Elys?es, from the Berlin Philharmony to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, he performs today all over Europe, in Russia, Japan, the Midlle East, the U.S.A,, Central and South America.

His vast repertory, including almost 60 concertos, is based mainly on the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann,
Rachmaninov, Ravel and Prokofief.

He has performed under eminent conductors with prestigious orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, The Orchestre de Paris, the NHK Tokyo, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande... In 1983, his first recording for the label Forlane, Early Works by Prokofiev, was awarded the "Grand Prix de l?Acad?mie Charles Cros". He
received it from the hand of Mrs Prokofiev herself.
For the same label he has recorded 3 Concertos by Bach, Ravel?s 2 Concertos and works by Schumann, Ravel, Schubert and Rachmaninov.

His recording of Beethoven?s complete Piano Sonatas, just as his
concert performances of these works, were heralded by the press as a "major event". The second CD of these Beethoven recordings, as well as his Ravel recital, were awarded the "Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Acad?mie du Disque Fran?ais." For Chopin?s Melodies with Ewa Podl?s, he also received the "Gerarld Moore Prize" - best accompanist - from the Acad?mie du Disque Lyrique. He has also recorded Chopin?s complete solo piano works (12 CD) in chronological order.

In March 2002, he obtained a triumph in Nantes, with the complete piano solo works of Chopin given (by heart) in 16 recitals over a period of six days in a row. He renewed this experience at La Roque d?Anth?ron Festival in 15 recitals given in July 2003, as well in 2004 at the Sintra Festival (Portugal), beginning of October 2004 in Avignon, and February 2005 in Bruxelles.

The 2 CD of Chopin?s complete works for piano and orchestra, recorded with the Orchestre de Bretagne conducted by Stefan Sanderling are available. For Calliope he also recorded Saint-Sa?ns 1st & 2nd pianos concertos with Pascal Verrot and the Orchestre Symphonique de Picardie.

He realized in 2004 a live recording of the 5 Concertos of Prokofiev
with the Orchestre de la Monnaie conducted by Kazushi Ono (Fuga
Libera). The recording of the complete piano solo works by Ravel has just been released (Triton)

Abdel Rahman El Bacha was granted the double French-Lebanese
citizenship in 1981. He is also a composer. He was made "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" by the French Minister of Culture in 1998 and he has been awarded the "M?daille de l?Ordre du M?rite " by the President of the Republic of Lebanon, the highest distinction of his native country."

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