Philharmonic Brings Marcel Khalife to Liverpool


Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is proud to announce a residency from Lebanese oud virtuoso and composer Marcel Khalife, as the flagship event of Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival 2007. Two performances from the UNESCO Artist for Peace, his only UK appearances this year are a highlight both for Liverpool and this year’s festival, Britain’s only annual festival of Arabic art.

Khalife’s music is based around the oud, a classical Arabic stringed instrument which, apart from its strings, is made entirely of wood: oud means wood in Arabic. Khalife’s work incorporates Western elements such as the piano amongst its influences. His playing techniques expand far outside those of classical oud playing and he is widely regarded as being responsible for expanding the horizons of Arabic music, and contributing to its popularity across the world. He is one of the most internationally recognised figures in Arabic music.

A prolific recording artist, author and composer, Marcel Khalife has appeared with many symphony orchestras in the greatest concert halls around the world.

During his time in Liverpool, Marcel Khalife will appear in a concert at Philharmonic Hall together with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell. The concert will include, amongst other music, a performance of Khalife’s Concerto Al-Andalus, as well as a piano, oud and orchestra work composed by his son, Rami Khalife.

Khalife will also meet Arabic community organisations in Liverpool, and perform a recital in the Concert Room at the city’s St. George’s Hall. This will include his latest work Taqasim, a duet with double bass; and a quartet with piano and voice in these prestigious, newly refurbished surroundings.


In 2005 the RLPO performed with Palestinian singer Amal Murkus in an acclaimed concert at Philharmonic Hall conducted by Clark Rundell, also as part of Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival. This year’s event is set to be another important milestone for both the Phil and the Festival.

Clark Rundell said: “I am extremely excited to be working with Marcel Khalife as I have been a huge fan of his music for many years. The concert at Philharmonic Hall will certainly be a memorable evening for all of us.”

Simon Glinn, Executive Director of Philharmonic Hall & Events and a member of the Executive Group of Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, said: “This is a very important event for us at the Philharmonic and I am delighted that Marcel is coming to spend several days in Liverpool. His music is beautiful and evocative, and no-one has created such a strong body of work of Arabic music that includes a substantial repertoire in a western classical orchestral setting. The opportunity to hear the new work in St George’s Hall Concert Room is very exciting, and with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in such great form the finale concert promises to be an exceptional event. I expect the support of the many partners in Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival and of Liverpool Culture Company for this event to be rewarded by some very special concerts.”

Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival brings a lively mixture of cultural activities ranging from dance, music, art, film and family events to food, from countries throughout the Arab world and from Britain to venues across Liverpool for two weeks in July, starting with the every-popular Family Day at Sefton Park on 1 July.

Also appearing in the St. George’s Hall Concert Room as part of the Arabic Arts Festival are DuOud with Abdulatif Yagoub and Ahmed Taher – two oud-playing Parisians who combine their North African heritage with the latest in Western technology.

Wednesday 11 July, 19.30
Marcel Khalife at St George’s Hall Concert Room

Saturday 14 July, 14.00
DuOud with Abdulatif Yagoub and Ahmed Taher at St. George’s Hall Concert Room

Saturday 14 July, 19.30
Marcel Khalife with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, at Philharmonic Hall

Tickets available from Philharmonic Hall box office on 0151 709 3789 or book online at