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BYBLOS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2023 : PHILOKALIA CHOIR & ASHTAR ENSEMBLE

Festivals

11/08/2023 à 20:30

Under the direction of S. Marana Saad, Philokalia Choir, (known till 2018 as Saint Rafqa Institute Choir), has established its reputation as one of the leading choirs in Lebanon. Since its foundation in 2010 by S. Marana, several concerts, festivals and occasions conducted each year have allowed the choir to showcase their work technically, vocally and musically.

Philokalia choir has covered a varied repertoire ranging from sacred to secular music, from oriental to Arabic and classical music, the most notable works: Syriac Maronite repertoire “traditional and modern”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Palestrina’s “Missa Brevis”, Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”, Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, Iyad Kanaan Hymns and songs, Toufic Succar “Maronite and Lebanese polyphonic songs”, Old Mouwashahat, Rahbani Brothers repertoire, Zaki Nassif repertoire, Sayyed Darwish, Phelemon Wehbe, Marcel Khalife, Charbel Rouhana, etc. and new songs composed especially for Philokalia Choir.

 

The Choir provides education in the field of music for both choral and solo. Philokalia Choir has participated in concerts alongside prominent orchestras, received many invitations to festivals, and has also collaborated with other leading choirs. Some of the most known are: Christmas concert at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, concerts at the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate in Bkerke, concerts at Beirut Chants Festival (2017/2021/2022), and in different churches and theatres in every corner of Lebanon. The Choir has received invitations to international festivals and big celebrations and events, such as: Crossroad Festival in Cyprus (2013/2018), Maronite Churches festivities in Virginia and Washington – U.S.A. (2016/2018), Frankfurt – Germany (2018) and Rome-Italy (2016), World Youth Day with The Pope Francis in Poland (2016) and Lebanese International Choir Festival (2015/2018).

Philokalia Choir has also presented an operetta with live orchestra in Rafqa’s musical theater written and directed by Georges Khabbaz (2014), and participated in big events with different orchestras in concerts with prominent artists such as Magida El Roumi, Charbel Rouhana in “Let Your Light Shine”/ “Salami Ma’ik” at the Casino Du Liban (2016), Marcel Khalife at Amchit Festival (2017) and Khaled Mouzanar at Baalback Festival Lebanon (2018). 

 

The Choir has also collaborated with the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music – the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Music conducted by Maestro Lubnan Baalbaki, with “Mazeej by Lucas Sakr” (2019) and Oussama Rahbani and Hiba Tawaji (2020). Philokalia Choir built strong friendships with Lena Farah Ghaoui and Rafca Fares Rahbani, who participated as soloists in Philokalia’s various concerts and musical events. Moreover, the Choir has recorded seven albums of Lebanese, oriental and sacred music, and performed many soundtracks for TV and movies, in which it had special appearances.

 

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