Greek and Lebanese Ensembles Perform Together at Concert Series: Musical Traditions of the Mediterranean

Charbel Rouhana
Charbel Rouhana
Greece – On Friday, January the 7th, En Chordais Ensemble from Thessalonica and Oriental Ensemble of the National Lebanese Conservatory from Beirut will give a concert of Classical Eastern Music at the Cemal Resit Rey Konser Salonu in Istanbul.

This unique city, which has been the “center of the world” for approximately 1500 years and the place where exceptional masters and innovators of art have lived together, hosts, on the occasion of the concert, some of the most significant and renowned musicians representing two eminent traditions; the Mashriq from the Arabic World, performed By The Oriental Ensemble, And Byzantine And Greek Contemporary Music, Performed By En Chordais Ensemble.

It is quite known that in the eastern Mediterranean and its neighboring lands, a common musical heritage existed for hundreds of years. This musical tradition corresponds to Western classical music; calling it Near Eastern classical music might be appropriate, given that no universal term has been agreed to amongst scholars. Its roots can be traced back to antiquity in this ethnically and socially rich geographical sphere of nationalities and civilizations, which over many centuries enjoyed political and cultural unity.

The concert of January the 7th aims to reveal both this musical coexistence and
the mutual musical creation that flourished in the area. It also attempts to
bring to surface its multicultural musical character and to indicate the whole
procedure of osmosis that has been taking place, creating artistic influences
that being preserved until today.

Fulfilling this goal, the repertory of this concert brings together the common
musical heritage with the contemporary quest for creative continuation.

This magical trip of music would not be realized unless both ensembles were
comprised of prominent musicians. In specific, the members of the ensembles are:

En Chordais Ensemble:

Kyriakos Petras – violin
Kyriakos Kalaitzides – ud
Alkis Zopoglou – qanun
Vassilis Tzortzinis – contrabass
Vaggelis Karipis – percussion
Petros Papageorgiou – percussion
Drossos Koutsokostas – singing

Oriental Ensemble:

Ghada Shbeir – voice
Rima Khcheiche – voice
Imane Homsy -qanun
Charbel Rouhana – ud
Samir Mahmoud Siblini – nay
Ali El Khatib – rek

Toufic Kerbage – artistic director

Financial Support is provided by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

Sponsors: Eenst & Young and Diopsis Ltd.

Media Sponsors: ΕRΤ3, Εrα Kosmos 93.6 and

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.