Marcel Khalife in “Chants of the East”

Posted On:
15 November, 2014
Past Events

Al-Bustan Music and the Concert Artist Series at Haverford College present internationally-acclaimed Lebanese composer, singer, and oud master MARCEL KHALIFE in the US premiere of his recent work Chants of the East for choir, orchestra, and Arabic takht ensemble.


Tickets: $20 General Admission | $100 VIP Seats+Luncheon
Saturday, November 15 at 8 PM


[caption id="attachment_4590" align="alignleft" width="59"] Roberts Hall[/caption]

Location: Roberts Hall, Marshall Auditorium
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The concert presents:

Guest Artist Abeer Nehme

Marcel Khalife with Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, comprised of four musicians, three of whom are recent recipients of the Pew Fellowship for the Arts for their exemplary talent in Arab music: Hanna Khoury on violin, Hicham Chami on qanun, Kinan Abou-afach on cello, and Hafez Kotain on percussion

Performing with
Guest Artist Abeer Nehme
Conductor Thomas Lloyd
Chamber Singers of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges
Keystone State Boychoir
Prometheus Chamber Orchestra


Enjoy a luncheon and reception with Marcel Khalife and Abeer Nehme celebrating the premiere of Chants of the East

Sunday, November 16 at 12:30 – 3 PM

Location: Positano Coast Restaurant
212 Walnut Street, Center City Philadelphia (map)

Ticket of $100 includes:

  • Reserved VIP seating at concert on Saturday, November 15 (8 PM)
  • Admission to luncheon on Sunday, November 16 (12:30-3 PM)

– Four-Course lunch buffet at Positano Coast Restaurant
– Reception with Marcel Khalife and Abeer Nehme

  • Tax-deductible donation to support Al-Bustan programs


*Al-Bustan is committed to the highest-quality concert experience for our audience. Due to the nature and length of the concert, children under 8 years of age are not permitted. For the brunch, only 10 years and older are permitted.

A Talk by Marcel Khalife on Culture and Crisis in the Arab World

Thursday, November 13, 7:00-8:30PM

Location: Stokes Auditorium, Haverford College

Free and Open to the Public

Marcel Khalife is an internationally acclaimed Lebanese composer, oud master, and singer. Born in Amicht, Lebanon in 1950, Khalife began his music career studying the oud at the National Academy of Music in Beirut. He garnered attention early in his career in the Middle East and abroad for shining light on the oud as a solo performance instrument. In 1976, he formed the Al Mayadeen Ensemble and began to experiment synthesizing Arabic classical modes with contemporary Western instrumentation, and integrating poetry in his musical repertoire. Khalife is distinguished by his dedication to the ideals of humanism and music’s ability to impart these ideals. This humanism has been a driving force of his music, which crosses the barriers of nationalism, religion, and culture. Moreover, Khalife’s music has the ability to give voice to those who have none. As he notes: “Nothing justifies our art other than to speak for those who cannot speak. This is the cause for which we dedicated our efforts, and the cause that endorsed our voices. We only wished to take it as far as we can, and vowed to release our work as songs of love for, and unity with, the victims of persecution everywhere.” In 2005, Khalife was named UNESCO Artist for Peace for his achievements as an artist and humanitarian. In 2008, he was named the music director and resident composer of the newly formed Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Abeer Nehme is an internationally renowned Lebanese singer versed in a variety of performance styles. She has studied the theories of Arabic, Western, and Aramaic and Byzantine religious music and obtained a Master’s degree of Art in Musicology from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik – USEK, as well as a diploma with high distinction in advanced traditional Arab music performance. Her repertoire includes traditional Arabic Tarab and Middle Eastern folk songs, Ancient Syriac and Maronite chants, Opera, and Western Music. She sings in more than 14 different languages. Nehme has performed at prominent music festivals around the world, including “Festival Les Orientales” in Paris, the International Musical Festival and Conference at Royaumont, the “Festival de Músicas Sagradas de Évora” in Portugal, and the 19th Bosra International Festival in Syria. Since 2012, Nehme works on the TV documentary series titled “Ethnopholia,” produced by Al Mayadeen TV, in which she travels worldwide, searching for the roots and origins of folk music. The show is currently in its second season.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the William Penn Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts’ Building Bridges Program