Lubnan Baalbaki: «The refined critical mind is necessary to the evolution of arts »
Music is in his veins and his fame has crossed the borders of Lebanon. Born and raised in a highly artistic family, the young Maestro Lubnan Baalbaki, permanent conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, combines perfectly, talent, studies, and experiences. His impressions to Prestige.
Tell us about your debut with music… I was born into an artistic family, where the musical atmosphere reigned. My father, a painter, studied visual arts in France and taught at the Lebanese University for thirty years. The success of my sister, the singer Soumaya Baalbaki that I accompanied constantly, followed. I started studying violin at the National Conservatory, followed by musicology studies at USEK. Later in Europe, I specialized in conducting, between Bucharest and Vienna.
You did your studies in Romania … In Romania, my stay lasted thirteen years. So I can say that I’ve been living a life doing most of my studies there. Romania is a country that occupies an important place in my life. I even became one of them.
You have also studied elsewhere. What influence was the strongest? I did a Master’s degree in Vienna and I think it’s the city that has marked me the most. Music is a discipline that never ends.
But you are attached to your country, Lebanon. It is true. I come from a patriotic Lebanese family, who has a deep faith in the unity of a multi-faith country.
How long have you been conducting the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra? For five years, I have been a permanent conductor.
«I invite readers to discover the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra in the concerts given during the year».
What made your success? Perseverance in the first place, and the firm principle, that evolving in music requires daily work.
What characterizes your music? The spirit, the soul …
You have participated in several international festivals … Each experience had a particular taste. But what matters to me most is the orchestral presence, which is becoming stronger in the concerts.
Which stars did you collaborate most with? Majida El Roumi and Marcel Khalifé.
Have you thought about starting your own orchestra? It has never been a personal goal. It’s more about collaborating and offering my expertise to be able to found regional orchestras in every corner of the country.
Music for you … It’s the dimension that gives spirituality to our life, like our passport to the universe.
Your plans for this summer?The opening of the Baalbeck Festival with Marcel Khalifé and 160 musicians and choristers, the opening concert of the Jounieh festival with Majida El Roumi, as well as other projects being prepared in the Arab countries.
What advice would you give to young musicologists? To have a refined critical mind vis-à-vis the musical works. This is the only key that allows the art, in all its forms, to evolve. Interview by Mireille Bouabjian