Marcel Khalifeh will perform two benefit concerts for the Palestinian people this July in Amman.
The first will be in the Arena Theater on July 12, and the second will be Al Zarqa on July 13.
Khalifeh also performed in a charity concert for Palestinian children in London on June 6.
The upcoming concerts are aimed aiding “innocent Palestinian children, who are being victimized, orphaned and even killed on a daily basis. In a world of harsh reality and daily aggression, they are the real sufferers as a result of the indifference shown to their plight by the western media and the world,” according to the event’s promoters.
Khalifeh was born in 1950 in Amchit, Lebanon. He studied the Near Eastern lute, known in Arabic as the oud, at the National Academy of Music in Beirut. Although at that time playing the oud was governed by very strict technical rules, Khalifeh and other musicians have since expanded the rules and developed the oud's potential.
Khalifeh taught at the National Conservatory of Music and other institutions from 1970 to 1975. During that time, he also performed solo concerts throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America.
In 1972, Khalifeh formed a group of musicians in Amchit, the town where he was born. The group, which then performed throughout Lebanon, tried to revive Arabic music and its choral heritage. Amchit was an experience Khalifeh built upon to launch Al Mayadin Ensemble in 1976, which soon won high acclaim. He and the ensemble continue to perform in concerts in the Arab world, Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, and Japan.
Starting in 1974, he began collaborating on music for the dance shows of the Caracalla Dance Troupe. The powerful combination of Khalifeh's music and the troupe's dancing has given birth to a new style of Near Eastern ballet with popular appeal. He has also written soundtracks for documentaries and films directed by the late Maroun Baghdadi, Sophi Sayhf Eddin, and Sami Zikra.
The Arabic musical library has been enriched by scores of Khalifeh's works, surpassing 20 productions. The list includes Promises of the Storm, Ghinaiyyat Ahmad Al Arabi, Peace Be with You, Weddings, Arabic Coffeepot, Summer Night's Dream and Magic Carpet. Future releases include Body and Soul, Chants of the East, The Symphony of Return, and an Oud Concerto.
Khalifeh's musical scholarship, particularly his mastery of the oud, express themselves in a seminal work the composer started writing in 1982, a six-part Anthology of Studying the Oud. In this work, he dwells on the theory and application of studying the instrument. A set of chapters are devoted to oud duo, trios, and quartets.
Khalifeh has received many honors and awards throughout his long and highly acclaimed career, including:
- Medal of Cultural Merit, Tunisia
- Star of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism
- Golden Dagger of the United Arab Emirates
- Citation of Merit of the Cultural Lebano-Australian Club, Sydney
- Ivory Medal - Abidjan
- An honor from the Venezuelan Cultural League - Maracaibo
- Citations of Merit from Berlin, Cuba, Bulgaria, and Yemen
- Certificates and Letters of Appreciation from the Cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, and Houston – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )